Prof. Dr. Jan Miodoński

Jan Miodoński ( 1902 – 1963) was a distinguished Polish otolaryngologist, professor of the Jagiellonian University, pioneer of audiology and ear surgery in Poland.

He was one of the pioneers of tympanoplasty as a surgical treatment for deafness in cases of chronic otitis media. As early as 1950’s, his team was performing ossiculoplasty as a rutine procedure. In 1946, as the first in Poland, he performed fenestration surgery for otosclerosis. There are reports that he was the first surgeon who performed myringostapediopexy (type of tympanoplasty where the tympanic membrane is brought into functional connection with the stapes).

J. Miodoński was the pioneer of audiology in Poland. Using an audiometer, he has determined the limits of one-sided hearing and developed an original procedure for detecting simulated deafness. He conducted, with success, studies on differentiating the conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

Before the WW2 he was conducting and publishing studies on physiology and pathology of bony labirynth, thus laying the groundwork for development of neurotology in Poland. He was one of the creators of rehabilitation surgery for balance and hearing disorders.

His scientific output was outstanding, both in terms of the number of publications and with regard to the quality and novelty of his research. He has published more than 160 papers, mostly on topics relating to the ear and bony labyrinth anatomy, functions and pathology.

In his postdoctoral thesis, in 1934, he had studied excitability of the bony labyrinth in reaction to galvanic current and caloric tests, with conclusions that allow differentiating the central and peripheral balance impairments. It is worth noting that the method described by Miodoński is often associated with an English otiatrist C. S. Hallpike, who has also described it, only 10 years later than Miodoński. Miodoński was also the author of the first in the world description of the symptoms of perilymph fistula and nystagmus related to fenestration of the labyrinth.

Prof. Jan Miodoński was the head of the Otolaryngology Clinic of the Jagiellonian University since 1934 until his death in 1963. He is remembered as the most respected, renowned and long-standing director of the Clinic. He has initiated and participated hands-on in the construction of the premises currently housing the Clinic.

He was a member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Polish Academy of Sciences, as well as many Polish and international scientific societies. He was well regarded for his social activity and for taking courageous, often critical stance in matters related to the authorities’ position towards science.