Doctors Patients and Diseases | Hektoen International

Cheeseburgers and cursewords

Sara Gody Jackson Bybee Salt Lake City, Utah (Summer 2017) I hardly recognized him. The photograph in his hospital record taken two years prior boasts a thirty-seven-year-old man with a full face, short reddish hair and a twinkle in his eyes. Now he reclines passively in bed, his face sallow, cheek bones protruding like the […]

Which weighs upon the heart

Murad Moosa Khan Karachi, Pakistan (Spring 2017)   Painting by Nisar Ahmed I seldom see patients without an appointment, which for an initial patient can take up to an hour, often longer. Fortunately for this couple, the booked patient rang in to say he could not  come because of some transport problem, so I was […]

At the turning point

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece (Spring 2017)   Eva was born the year I entered medical school; our life paths would cross two decades later. She went through school, played volleyball regularly, married, and lived a normal and carefree life. Then in her early twenties she gradually began getting breathless and increasingly tired, and had dizzy […]

Beyond medicine

Jessica A. Tang Chicago, Illinois, United States (Spring 2017)   Surgeons in action I remember staring intently at the doctor as he presented two options: surgery or do nothing. Surgery could not promise drastic improvement and even came with the risk of paralysis or death. Doing nothing meant an ominous future of moving onward until […]

PEACH: Providing end of life care for the homeless

Lea Mendes Lisbon, Portugal (Spring 2017)   Retired homeless fisherman (Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões, Wikipedia Commons) Homeless people make up a  Fourth World population in industrialized as well as developing countries.  Homelessness creates a higher risk for disease and premature death.  An innovative Canadian program provides care for those who are homeless at the end […]

Support players in the story of an illness – how to behave

Fergus Shanahan University College Cork, Ireland (Spring 2017)   Those who support in silence and support by their presence. Kiran Sandhu,  Feb 24, 2017 One of the poems written by Seamus Heaney after recovering from a stroke was inspired by the well-known biblical story in which a sick man is miraculously cured. However, the Nobel laureate […]


Nam Nguyen Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States I led her well into the center of the Russian Market, holding her hand behind me so that I could navigate the two of us around curious eyes. I was careful to stay in the dark, aware that the market had not yet been entirely vacated. […]

Personal magic – creativity and Shamanic ways for wellbeing

Kate Hawkes Portland, Oregon, United States (Spring 2009)   The key to healing and wellness is, most agree, a combination of mind-body dynamics and, perhaps spirit. How the three interact and what happens when they do is the subject of studies and surmise, hard fact and anecdote. I have no doubt that when an individual […]

Warning: laughter can be hazardous to your illness

Bharata Wingham Buckingham, Virginia, United States (Winter 2012)     Photography by Chris Keiss A cheerful heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit makes one sick. —Proverbs 17:22   Laugh for the health of it! When is the last time you had a good laugh? This was a question I used to […]


William Marshall Tucson, Arizona, United States (Winter 2013)   Huachuca Mountains Photography by J. G. Park When family and friends from back East ask me about the Arizona/Mexico border, two images come to mind: first, an almost unlimited view of blue sky and distant mountains; second, a sick, frightened teenage boy sitting on an exam […]