History Essays | Hektoen International

Part I: The impact of insulin on children with diabetes at Toronto Sick Kids in the 1920s

Sarah Riedlinger, Dean Giustini, & Brenden Hursh Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Spring 2018)   Introduction The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, 1929. Photo credit: Toronto Public Library, Accession # tspa_0113248f Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world.1 In 2009 Canada alone had 2.35 million people with diabetes.2 Some 10% […]

Part II: The impact of insulin on children with diabetes at Toronto Sick Kids in the 1920s

Sarah Riedlinger, Dean Giustini, & Brenden Hursh Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Spring 2018)   Progress in diabetes care between 1922 and 1929 Figure 2. Mortality of Diabetic Coma in the Hospital for Sick Children.7 In 1923 Banting joined the staff of the Hospital for Sick Children and was placed in charge of diabetes care. He and […]

The history of diabetes and insulin

Anabelle S. Slingerland Leiden, the Netherlands (Spring 2018)   Figure 1. The Toronto Daily, the Nobel Laureates on track of diabetes cure The discovery of insulin in 1921 by Banting, Best, Collip, and McLeod was heralded as the cure of diabetes (Figure 1). Press reports consigned earlier research to oblivion, suggesting that previous investigators had […]

Finding a “New Orientation” in Mexican Public Health: the Servicio Médico-Social

Steve Server Chicago, Illinois, United States (Winter 2018)   The Palace of the Inquisition, the site of the old National Medical School, Plaza Santo Domingo, Mexico City In the 1935-1936 issue of the Mexican Public Health Department’s newsletter, Salubridad, the newly-minted Chief of the Department, Doctor and General José Siurob, offered a vision for the […]

Medical history on the silver screen: Hollywood’s ten-minute films about medical heroes

Bert Hansen New York, New York, United States (Winter 2018)   Figure 1.  Frame of Christiaan Eijkman in Java considering the dietary difference between polished and unpolished rice, from The Magic Alphabet © MGM 1942.  All rights reserved. Some of us are old enough to remember long Saturday afternoons in neighborhood movie theaters, where we […]

The battle of the vivisected dog

Jack Effron Bagmara, Bangladesh (Winter 2018)    The original 1906 statue that caused all the trouble. Medical education has not always been left to the professionals. In the past, and especially in London in the first decade of the twentieth century, it has become a political issue and caused rioting in the streets. On February […]

“Marvailous Cures”: sympathetic medicine connecting Europe and China

Richard de Grijs Sydney, Australia Daniel Vuillermin Beijing, China (Winter 2018)   Application of a powder of sympathy. Source: Tentzel A (ed) 1662 Theatrum Sympatheticum Auctum (Nuremberg: Johann Andreas Endter & the Heirs  of Wolfgang Endter Jr), p 125 (Reproduced with permission, Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, 30.4 Med.: VD17 23:290712A.) In Renaissance Europe the concept of […]

The origins of pediatrics as a clinical and academic specialty in the United States

Colin Phoon New York, United States (Winter 2018)   Children’s ward, Bellevue Hospital, New York, ca. 1897 (Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine, NLM ID# 101435915) In the long timeline of medicine, pediatrics is a recent clinical field.  The first children’s hospital in the world was established in Paris in 1802, followed by the […]

The monarch, the musician, and the medic

Jesús Ramírez-Bermúdez Translated by Ilana Dann Luna Mexico City, Mexico (Winter 2018)   The Monarch, The Musician and the Medic, Jose Agustin Ramirez Bermudez. Location: Jesus Ramirez Bermudez Private Collection The history of medicine bestows us with unexpected episodes, such as the character of “The Swan King,” whose platonic love for a disgraced musician sparked the […]

Collections complete: experiential centres of learning

Lynsey Grosfield Rude, Denmark (Winter 2018)   The period between roughly 1520 and 1590 was a time of growing efforts to understand the world of science through hands-on exercises in collecting and cataloguing natural objects, observation, dissection, and experimentation in the fields of anatomy, botany, and museum science. This was also the time of the […]