Tag Archives: Doctors Patients and Diseases

Uncertainty and clinical truths

Anjan Banerjee Cambridgeshire, UK (Fall 2017)   “Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability” (William Osler)   Monday 15:35 pm Franciso Goya. Self-Portrait with Dr. Arrieta, 1820. The ninety-eight year old patient with piercing blue eyes and a quizzical expression sat in her wheelchair in the colorectal clinic. We sat facing […]

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 […]

Scarification: harmful cultural practice or vehicle to higher being?

Kenneth Michael Felsenstein National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United States (Winter 2014) Scarification is the act of “covering, disguising and transforming the body”1 by creating wounds in one’s own flesh in order to cause indelible markings. It is perhaps one of the most misunderstood body modification procedures done today, largely perceived in Western society as a […]

Healing through laughter

Farrah Bui Princeton University, New Jersey, United States (Winter 2014) Laughing boy, c. 1625 Frans Hals Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague “If there is one thing to know about me, it’s that I refuse to ever eat honey again,” Ben explains to the audience. Immediately, looks of confusion and raised eyebrows appear among the […]

The thickening of blood

Nod Ghosh Christchurch, New Zealand (Fall 2016)   It begins when you are a child, in the pre-antibiotic dawn of an Indian summer, one of six siblings, five of whom will eventually die of broken heart valves or diabetes. But let us say for now, you are a child, a child who loves to dance, […]