Books & Reviews | Hektoen International

The Craft of Medical Reflection

JTH Connor St. John’s, Newfoundland (Spring 2017)   Allan Peterkin is a professor of psychiatry and family medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada. As a teacher and author he is probably best known for his survival guide to post graduate medical studies, Staying Human During Residency Training:  How to Survive and Thrive after Medical […]

When a movie ticket to the battered may help!

Rema Sundar Trivandrum, Kerala, INDIA (Spring 2017)   No Discrimination! ‘The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics’ by United Nations Statistics Division (Creative Commons) Domestic violence awareness through film When four-time Grammy Award winner Tracy Chapman crooned ‘Last night I heard the screaming’, she was reflecting on a global public health problem. Instances of abuse […]

Queer and unked: disability, monstrosity, and George Eliot’s ‘Sympathy’

Christina Lee Kent, UK (Winter 2017) Silas finds Eppie. Eliot, George. The Jenson Society, NY. In The Mill on the Floss, the intellectual and sensitive Philip Wakem, who has a curved spine from a fall in infancy, is called “a queer fellow, a humpback, and the son of a rogue.”1([II.vi]) In the manuscript Philip Wakem is branded […]

Black man, white coat

Yeji Lee University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada (Spring 2016) There is a fine line between prejudice and experience, and it is a line that grows all the more important for someone who is a doctor. In his memoir, Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, Dr. Damon Tweedy ushers […]

Saul Bellow’s Doctor Adler: the achieving medical father and his non-achieving son

Solomon Posen (Spring 2009)   “I’ve learned,” old Doctor Adler lectures his oversized, untidy and bankrupt son, “to keep my sympathy for the real ailments” (42). Saul Bellow’s 1956 novella Seize the Day, arguably his finest work, is the story of a prodigal son (Tommy Wilhelm) who returns to his father, craving love as well […]

Book Review: Alain de Botton’s The Pleasures and Sorrow of Work

 Sima Barmania London, United Kingdom (Winter 2011) Published by Penguin books, 2009 ISBN: 9780241143537 What do you suppose biscuit manufacturing and the healthcare profession have in common? Well, according to Alain de Botton they both attain a sense of meaning by increasing pleasure or decreasing the suffering of another human being, a necessary prerequisite for […]

Moreau’s mysterious creatures

 Shelley Co Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Harlem, New York (Spring 2016)     The tale begins with a shipwrecked man who lands on a mysterious island filled with half human and half animal type creatures. From this, the novel seems a little ridiculous and even simplistic. But in actuality, H.G. Wells’ novel, The Island of […]

The truth in facts is a derelict ruin: forging a self through fiction

 Sara Baker Independent Scholar and Writer, Athens, Georgia (Spring 2015)     Photography by Brendan DeBrincat In his June 2, 2014, New Yorker article Inheritance,1 Ian Parker explores the connection between British novelist Edward St. Aubyn’s early traumatic life and his fiction. When we think of healing through writing, we usually think first of memoir […]

North and South and the intersections of environment and health

 Roslyn Weaver University of Western Sydney, Australia (Spring 2016)     Elizabeth Gaskell Portrait by George Richmond, 1851 “Why, Mr. Thornton! You’re cutting me very coolly, I must say. And how is Mrs. Thornton? Brave weather this! We doctors don’t like it, I can tell you!” “I beg your pardon, Dr. Donaldson. I really didn’t […]

The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg and the diagnostic gaze as moral authority in The Great Gatsby

Rachel Conrad Bracken Rice University, Houston, Texas, United States (Spring 2015) The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic—their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose. Evidently some wild wag of an oculist […]