Tag Archives: Fall 2017

Polio conundrums

Denis Gill Dublin, Ireland (Fall 2017)   Ancient Egyptian stele of Ruma For most children, infection with the polio virus caused no symptoms or a minor illness.  But about 1% of those infected experienced paralysis of one or both lower limbs. Worse still, bulbar paralysis could lead to the  inability to breathe. The effects of […]

Ibn al-Nafis and the pulmonary circulation

  Medical advances are often made over long periods of time, making it difficult to assign priority to any particular individual. Such has been the case for the ”discovery” of the pulmonary circulation, a distinction variously assigned to three anatomists of the sixteenth century, Michael Servetus, Realdo Colombo, and Andrea Cesalpino. But in 1924 the […]

Public health measures derived from the Jewish tradition: III. The Bris: Jewish ritual circumcision and hemophilia

Matthew Migliozzi, David Forstein, Sarah Rindner & Robert Stern New York City, NY (Fall 2017)   The circumcision of Isaac. The Regensburg Pentateuch, 1305, now in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Historically, Jewish contributions to public health measures have not been given adequate attribution. The previous articles in this series have documented (1) the ancient Jewish […]

Welcome aboard

Myron F. Weiner Dallas, TX (Fall 2017)   Charon carries souls across the river Styx Greetings! Welcome to your afterlife! I am Charon, your boatman; your guide from life to death. Life differs for everyone who is born. Death is the same. Although, stooped, I am strong enough To convey you to See the river […]

An “enematic” saga

F. Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, IL (Fall 2017)   Primitive method of administering an enema, by blowing directly without the use of an injector 1 Apothecary holding an enema syringe 2 “The Enema” 3 Those of us who have managed to survive sixty, seventy, or more years remember that the enema or clyster was, by far, the commonest home remedy […]

Pink Skies

Gurbaksh Shergill Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Flint, MI (Fall 2017)   I stared silently out the window and took in my surroundings. The sun was slowly making its way into the sky, stretching as if waking up from a long slumber. The gold and pink tones of the sky were still hiding […]

Religio Medici

Stefan K. G. Grebe Rochester, Minnesota, USA (Fall 2017)   Mama, take this badge off of me / I can’t use it anymore. / It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see/ I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door  “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” Bob Dylan   The main foyer of the Gonda building, Mayo Clinic by Stefan Grebe If […]

The Changi diary and paintings: the partnership of a doctor and an artist

Robert Craig Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Fall 2017)   Malnutrition, Pellagra (left), Tropical Ulcersa, Avitaminosis (middle), Glossitis, and Solar Dermatosis (right) in Australian prisoners of war.  Three paintings and a diary in a handwritten exercise book are in the collection of the Marks Hirschfeld Medical Museum in Brisbane, Australia. They represent an episode of extraordinary courage, survival, […]

Fifty years on an Englishman recalls Cook County Hospital

Simon Cohen University College London Hospitals (Fall 2017)   Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL In 1968 I was a senior registrar at a London teaching hospital. My ambition was to become a staff member at a major London institution and at that time one of the requirements was a qualification known as the BTA (Been […]


Michael Ellman  Chicago, IL (Fall 2017)   South Pacific, 1950. Joseph Cable (William Tabbert) watches as Bloody Mary (Juanita Hall, top) and Liat (Betta St. John) perform the song “Happy Talk”  “Joseph Cable, at your service! U.S. Marines, World War Two, retired—at ease, Doctor. Let’s be casual, shall we?” My patient is tall and ramrod […]