Monthly Archives: February 2019

Joseph Warren: The forgotten founder

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Fig 1 The Leonard Zakim Bridge, Boston “If Warren had lived, Washington would have remained an obscurity.” -Peter Oliver, former chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court On June 17, a late spring New England morning, thousands of Bostonians will begin their day by traveling over the […]

The doctor becomes the patient: an internist’s journey from skepticism to gratitude

William Shimp  Plantation, Florida, United States   Abdominal section performed on a woman at Vienna, 10 November 1549. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0 Nothing grabs our attention more than being flattened by a diagnosis of significant illness. Mine arrived just a few weeks ago. For decades I had harbored a large hiatal hernia. I […]

Lost in translation

Jonathan Xian Houston, Texas, United States   Two Human Beings. The Lonely Ones. Edvard Munch. 1894. The Art Institute of Chicago. At the start of residency, you should make a list of five things you value most and think carefully about which ones you can live without. Cross them off one by one until only […]

Charles VIII: the king who bumped his head

Charles VIII was proclaimed king of France in 1470 at the age of thirteen and is remembered in history chiefly for invading Italy to assert his claim to the throne of Naples. He set in motion, by this invasion, a process that left Italy languishing under foreign domination for more than 300 years. During his […]

A good man

Tuhina Raman Philadelphia, PA, USA   The Liquor Bar by Wharton H. Esherick. Illustration for the book Song of the Broad-Axe by Walt Whitman. c. 1923. Philadelphia Museum of Art. My heart sank as soon as I saw it—tumor nodules in the trachea and a mass eroding through the stent in his airway. I had […]

Honoré Fragonard anatomist: artistic embalmer

Honoré Fragonard (1732–1799), cousin of the much more famous Rococo painter, trained to be a surgeon but then pursued a career as an anatomist. He first worked in Lyon at the world’s first veterinary school, then served for six years as director of the veterinary school established by Louis XV in 1765 in a suburb […]

Rachel Fleming and the non-reality of “racial types”

Barry Bogin United Kingdom   Human “races” as depicted in the 19th century Nordisk familjebok  (Nordic Family Book Encyclopedia). Each person in the painting depicts one “race” of Asiatic people. Today, anthropologists and biologist reject such “race” categorization. The differences between human groups are better ascribed to biological plasticity. During the early twentieth century several […]

A bit of irony: Sir William Wilde and Oscar Wilde

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Portrait of Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) in New York, 1882. Early in the afternoon of November 30, 1900, thirty-six hours after he had lapsed into a coma, a man named Sebastian Melmoth died at the Hotel d’Alsace in the Rue des Beaux Art. His assumed name eluded few […]

Qatar’s Sidra Hospital and Damien Hirst’s Miraculous Journey

Sally Metzler Chicago, IL, USA Amazing, inspiring art and architecture seem to appear almost daily in Doha, Qatar, the host city of the 2022 World Cup. The Sidra Hospital for women and children soars among the many shining examples of architecture throughout this small Middle Eastern Gulf country. The building is graceful and sleek. Interior […]

Medicine in Greek mythology

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK Fig. 1 Caduceus and Asclepian single serpent Some of the earliest ideas about health and disease lie in Greek mythology. The Greeks of prehistory told, retold, and often remoulded their tales of immortal gods and goddesses that were imaginative, symbolic creations. Stories of the gods probably started with Minoan and […]