Author Archives: hekint

consultant

John Keats – one whose name was writ in water

John Keats, one of the great poets of all times, was born near Moorgate in London in 1795. His father was an inn stable keeper (an ostler), who one night fell off a horse and fatally fractured his skull, leaving his family somewhat impecunious.1 John, sibling of four, was far from a model pupil in school – […]

Where am I when my digital footprint persists indefinitely?

Naomi Rachel Oldham West London, United Kingdom   “Dead Prescence in the Digital Age” by Naomi Rachel Oldham Exhibited in the Blyth Gallery May 9-24, 2018 Our digital selves remain present in the world even after we have died. Social media and email accounts, websites to which we have subscribed, photos, videos, and voice messages […]

From the goddess of healing to hair of the dog: the role of canines in health myth and fact

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, USA    “A sculpture of Gula, Sumerian deity of healing, with a dog at her side.” Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY The landscape of Mesopotamia was riddled with challenges, but for every problem that arose there was a deity to petition. Of these perhaps the most well-known was Inanna or Ishtar, who influenced […]

John Tyndall, FRS: The beauty of science

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. John Tyndall FRS [This media file is in the public domain in the United States.] Over many centuries non-medical people have carried out research into disease and its causes, often making important advances. The 1841 Census estimates suggest a third of all medical practitioners in England were unqualified.a The […]

I tried to write a dementia poem

Mac Greene Indianapolis, IN, USA   I tried to write… Did I tell you already? About the softball team on my first job, and I left my mitt on the front seat of my 1965 Chevy pickup that I sold for a hundred fifty dollars in Rappahannock County, with the ball in the pocket just […]

A man with a psychotic disorder by Diego Velazquez

Fernando Espí Forcén Chicago, Illinois, USA   Jester named Don Juan de Austria by Diego Velazquez El Prado Museum, Madrid Source: wikimedia commons During the modern era, kings employed jesters for the entertainment of monarchs and their guests. These jesters were often people with mental illnesses or congenital metabolic diseases. They were payed for their […]

A mother and a doctor

Michelle Kittleson Los Angeles, California, USA   Fourteen years to become a cardiologist: Medical school, residency, fellowship training Is easy, for the resilient — and the optimists. One shift after another can be draining, Though the path is clear and predictable, So the key is stamina, a matter of maintaining. Mother and Child Henry Essenhigh […]

El garrotillo: on diphtheria and Goya

Vicent Rodilla Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera, Valencia, Spain   Figure 1. El Garrotillo by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1808-1812). Private collection. Diphtheria is a bacterial infectious disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae that affects mostly children. Although by 2017 some 85% of infants worldwide have been vaccinated for DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis), some 19.9 million children remain unvaccinated.1 […]

Francesco Antommarchi, the Malvolio of St. Helena

Francesco Carlo Antommarchi (1780-1838) was a man of dubious character who served as Napoleon’s physician on the island of St. Helena from 1818 until his death in 1821. He began his education in Livorno, Italy, then in Pisa and Florence, graduating with a degree in surgery in 1812. For the next six years he practiced neither surgery […]

Johannes Purkinje: physiologist with wide interests

Johannes Purkinje (1787 –1869) was one of the best-known scientists of his time, now remembered for discovering, in 1837, the large neurons with branching dendrites of the cerebellum (Purkinje cells), and the fibers conducting electrical impulses from the atria to the ventricles of the heart (Purkinje fibers). In addition, he introduced into medicine the terms plasma and protoplasm, and was the first […]