Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Month: March 2019

  • Scarred for life

    Shanda McCutcheon Calgary, Alberta, Canada   Three Months Post Donation, Michael, his wife Rebecca and their two youngest children with Shanda (far right) Source: Personal photograph of author Most mornings I wake and it does not seem like it happened at all. Still half asleep, I step under the cascading waters of a warm shower…

  • La Pieta

    Rachel Fleishman Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   La Pieta, 1498–1499, Michelangelo, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. Via Wikipedia. CC BY 2.5. A mother holds her dead child. His body flops open without resistance, freshly dead. His head is cocked back, shoulder lifted, arms release the last vestige of grip. Her face sullen, her hand beside…

  • Ella’s addiction: the story of a mother and morphine

    Lisa Mulleneaux New York, New York, United States   Ella Quinlan O’Neill in the early 1880s. Courtesy of Yale University Library Doctors today are relearning lessons from a century ago when overprescription of opioids created an epidemic of addicts, most of whom were upper-class or middle-class women. Eugene O’Neill’s mother, Mary “Ella” Quinlan O’Neill, was…

  • The book that galvanized a health care transformation

    Sherrie Dulworth New York, United States   Dulworth, Sherrie. On Death and Dying Changed the Health Care Conversation. March 22, 2019. Mount Kisco, New York. One of the major health care sea changes of the past half-century did not originate from the usual sources of scientific research, technological development, or even clinical trial-and-error. Instead, a…

  • Scars

    Morgan Alexander Dayton, Ohio, United States   Taylor by Lauren Henschel. 2011. Part of the Indelible documentary series. “I see you’ve got some scars here,” the doctor said, gesturing to two faint, thin lines that ran down both sides of the patient’s neck. “What’s that about?” The patient in the room with us was covered in scars…

  • Between frames: liminality and the emergence of self

    Jane Persons Iowa City, Iowa, United States   Human hippocampus, 2X magnification, Luxol fast blue stain. Photo credit: Karra Jones, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Pathology, Iowa City, Iowa, United States The development of compassion, along with wisdom, skill, and communication, is pivotally important to the practice of medicine.1 Perhaps even more importantly, development…

  • The beauty of gender diversity

    Lisa ShugollAsheville, North Carolina, USA The arts have always provided a rich source of material for the type of introspection and contemplation that can deepen our ability to respond empathetically to those whose concerns and life experiences are vastly different from our own. This capacity for empathy is especially important for clinicians hoping to provide…

  • Becoming Judith: the connection between Italian Baroque and anatomy lab

    Emily Nghiem Detroit, Michigan, USA   The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins. 1875. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Wikimedia Commons Public Domain. Art and medicine are not two things that seem to fall together naturally. When considering an example of medicine depicted in art, a reasonable and literal choice would be Thomas Eakins’ The Gross Clinic,…

  • Alfred Russel Wallace

    JMS Pearce Hull, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Alfred Russel Wallace. Public Domain Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) conceived the original idea of evolution by natural selection entirely independently of Charles Darwin.1 In the north choir aisle of Westminster Abbey, next to Charles Darwin’s memorial, is a white marble roundel with a profile relief bust to…

  • Rewiring the brain

    Paul Rooprai Hamilton, Ontario, Canada   Approach as a Medical Illustrator The modern-day perception of mindfulness and meditation is inextricably linked to the mind, which is associated physically with the brain. The rendering of the brain at the top of the poster represents the biological processes that mindfulness promotes in the brain. The renditions of…