Monthly Archives: September 2017

To my friend with diabetes, on losing her foot

Anna Kander Iowa City, IA, USA   The author’s friend, almost sixty years ago–when she was first diagnosed with Type I Diabetes and told she probably wouldn’t survive to adulthood. You walk sixty-seven years while childhood diabetes, against your iron will, poisons your peripheral nerves with sugar, and the muscles of your feet, starved of circulation, […]

Walt Whitman: a difficult patient

Jack Coulehan Stony Brook, New York, United States   On June 15, 1888, the following notice appeared in  the New York Times under the headline AGED POET SUFFERS RELAPSE: “Prof. William Osler, of the University of Pennsylvania, was summoned by telegraph this afternoon to go to Walt Whitman’s bedside. The aged poet had a relapse, […]

Death and the diaspora

Amitha Kalaichandran Ottawa, Ontario, Canada   Even though my grandfather, or “Tata” in Tamil, became deaf five years ago, I still felt he could hear me. I believed that the oceans that stood between our homes – mine in Toronto, Canada, and his in Colombo, Sri Lanka – could carry a symphony of both concerns […]

The thousand-year-old rainforest shamanistic tradition of healing touch

Søren Ventegodt Copenhagen, Denmark   Detail from Serpent and Ant-Eater c1997 by Allan Palm Island (private collection)   An interview with the last Aboriginal healer from the Kuku Nungl (Kuku Yalanji) tribe on the sacred art of healing touch in Far North Queensland, Australia.   The indigenous people of Australia, the Aboriginals, have an ancient […]

Phantom Pains

Daly Walker Boca Grande, Florida and Quechee, Vermont, United States   Most memories pass on to oblivion without changing anything.  But some are so powerful they transform who you are.  They never leave you.  Without my memories of a girl named Jane, I would never have become the doctor I am. On a clear December […]

Manga as medical critique

Adil Menon Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Osama Tezuka, 1951 “Godfather of Manga” Stark lines are often drawn in American and European literature between graphic novels, which cater primarily to adults, and comics, which despite their broad appeal are perceived as being meant for younger audiences. No such dichotomy exists within the Japanese medium of […]

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 […]

Grand Prix Submission Guidelines

(Currently closed) We invite you to participate in the Seventh Hektoen Grand Prix Essay Competition. Two prizes will be awarded: $3000 for the winner and $800 for the runner up. Topics might include art, history, literature, education, etc. as they relate to medicine. Essays should be under 1600 words. The deadline is April 15, 2019 at […]