Grünfeld, Josef
Portrait of Joseph Grünfeld, 1840-1910
Joseph Grünfeld, 1840-1910, was a dermatologist who worked at the department for syphilitic patients at the Policlinic in Vienna. He designed several endoscopes for urethroscopy and cystoscopy and separated the light from the shaft of the endoscope.
Int. Nitze-Leiter Research Society for Endoscopy

Josef Grünfeld (1840-1912)

Josef Grünfeld was born in 1840 in Cyörke, Hungary. He studied medicine in Pest (Budapest) and Vienna, where he received his doctorate in 1867. In 1881 he received his venia legendi for dermato-syphilology.

In 1885, Grünfeld was appointed Director of the Department of Urinary Organs and Syphilis, which was specially created for him at the General Polyclinic in Vienna. Grünfeld also took great interest in urological diseases and is regarded as one of the most active pioneers of endoscopy.

Among other innovative discoveries, Grünfeld was the first to explore the ostia and the ureters transurethrally when using his instrument. He was the first to see the colliculus seminalis and the orifices of the seminal ducts during urethroscopy and to describe their pathological changes. He was able, even then, to remove tumours of the urethra and the bladder endoscopically. Grünfeld treated strictures in the urethra endoscopically and invented instruments for autourethroscopy and the projection of endoscopic images.

Physicians from all over the world visited the Polyclinic to be taught endoscopy by Joseph Grünfeld. Among his many contributions, the most important are Der Harnröhrenspiegel (das Endoskop), seine diagnostische und therapeutische Anwendung (“The urethroscope (endoscope), its diagnostic and therapeutic use”), Vienna 1877, and Die Endoskopie der Harnröhre und Blase (“Endoscope of the urethra and the urinary bladder”), Stuttgart, 1881.

Josef Grünfeld died in Vienna, in 1912.

Source: Matthias Reuter, Hans J. Reuter, Rainer Engel: History of Endoscopy, pp 61-63.