What Are Those Round Metal Things Doctors Wear on Their Heads?

Physicians have always had a distinctive physical profile, from their white coats to the stethoscope slung around their neck, but the one accessory that seems to be a mystery is the metal disc worn around their head. What’s the function of this object and why isn’t it common anymore? The disc is known as a head mirror, and it helps physicians for examination of the ear, nose and throat. To use the device, the doctor swings the mirror down over one eye, peering through the center hole. A light source is then shone on the mirror’s concave surface, reflecting and illuminating the dark are of interest. Essentially, the area can be visualized without having the light source obstructing the doctor’s view. It takes practice for doctors to learn how to best position both the mirror and their own head to provide the best view possible. Many modern-day physicians opt instead for fiber optic headlights, which provide illumination without being so difficult to perfect.