Education | Hektoen International

Where the sound goes

Kacper Niburski Montreal, Quebec, Canada   Image from page 409 of “A practical treatise on medical diagnosis for students and physicians” (1904) There were only a few bodies that I had touched fully before entering medical school: my mother’s as a baby drawn to a life; my twin’s as a faulty mirror; my lovers’ who […]

Beginnings of bedside teaching in Padua: Montanus

      “Medical historians seem to agree that the first teacher of medicine to instruct his students at the bedside was Giovanni Batista de Monte (1498-1552), better known by his Latin name of Montanus. In 1543 Montanus was appointed to the Chair of Medicine at the University of Padua, a state institution of the […]

Special abilities for a brave new world

Elida Melova The Republic of Macedonia   Miranda – The Tempest, 1916. John William Waterhouse, Oil on Canvas. London, Royal Academy, 1916, no. 52 “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” – Alan K. Simpson This quote has found its true home in education. Receiving a degree […]

Cultivating clinical compassion with cultural encounters

Jeffrey Lee Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Sunset along the beaches of Sant Antoni de Calonge The calm waves of the Mediterranean played a lullaby as I walked along the beach, the fine-grained sand gently caressing my toes. I noticed a small group of women massaging each other’s backs. I awkwardly watched them from the […]

In a scan, darkly

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Every so often I browse through old patient records and before committing them to the shredder I read through the histories they contain. These visits to the past are useful and edifying, allowing a more detached consideration of the events. Has something changed in medical knowledge since then? Do the […]

Thomas Jefferson’s medical schools

John D. Ehrhardt, Jr. and J. Patrick O’Leary Miami, Florida, United States   Portrait of Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States of America, devoted much of his life to science, medicine, and education. Entering the College of William & Mary at sixteen, he was […]

Aequanimitas and apathy

Lee W. Eschenroeder Charlottesville, Virginia   Sir William Osler On May 1, 1889, Sir William Osler, one of the greatest clinicians and educators of all time, stood before students at the University of Pennsylvania and delivered the valedictory address “Aequanimitas.”  Since that day equanimity, or “imperturbability” as Osler also named it, has become one of […]

Empathy for medical students

David Jeffrey Edinburgh, United Kingdom   Medical students check blood glucose on a patient. On a windy corner of Drummond Street, not far from Rutherford’s pub in Edinburgh, there is a small bronze plaque with these words: ‘And when I remembered all that I hoped and feared as I pickled about Rutherford’s in the rain […]

Medicine’s old-school technology

Katie Taylor San Francisco, CA   I am six months into my first year of residency as a doctor. And my experience so far has been sorrowfully screen-dominated. If aliens were to come down and observe a day in the life, I am afraid they’d assume the computer is the patient and the patient’s room […]

Suicide in medical school

Trevor Klee Cambridge, MA, United States   Sorrowing Old Man (At Eternity’s Gate), 1890, Vincent Van Gogh.  Depression and suicide are difficult subjects to write about because they are unpleasant and have at least a faint tinge of moral failure. Moreover, the enormity of the feelings involved dwarfs the attempts to portray them in writing. […]