Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Month: December 2019

  • The Rh factor: An intertwined history

    Paula Carter Chicago, Illinois   Lucy Reyburn Rittgers and two of her daughters, circa 1948. Source: Family photo In 1924, Lucy Reyburn gave birth to her first child, a daughter she named Darlene. Lucy lived in Iowa and the birth was an embarrassment. She had become pregnant and hurriedly married a man who left before…

  • Blood is NOT the essence of life?

    Mair Zamir London, Ontario, Canada   Figure 1. Vasculature of the human heart in an anterior view (right) and posterior view (left). This massive vascular network brings blood to within reach of every cell within the heart tissue. It is the most densely packed vascular network within the body because of the very high metabolic…

  • The legacy and maladies of Jonathan Swift

    JMS Pearce England, UK   Fig 1. Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (Fig 1.) is best known for his popular Lemuel Gulliver’s: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World published in 1726. (Fig 2.) Exciting adventures combine with satirical metaphors that parodied contemporary customs and politics. Lemuel Gulliver, the narrator, begins as a modern man…

  • Brief encounters

    Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Quicksilver in blue. Photo by Anthony Papagiannis. Doctor-patient relationships are as unique as the potential pairs of doctors and patients. At one end of the spectrum there is the one-time encounter, usually for some straightforward and self-limiting problem: the doctor may never see the patient again. At the other extreme,…

  • Theme

    TRAVEL AND MEDICINE Published  in December, 2019 H E K T O R A M A   .     DOCTOR MOORE IN ITALY     Moore, a practicing physician in Glasgow with a good reputation, was offered an opportunity to travel. Like other prominent noblemen of his day, the young Duke of Hamilton was…

  • Moses Maimonides—physician and philosopher

    The great Hebrew scholar and physician Moses Maimonides was born in Cordoba, Spain, ca.1135. Pupil of the famous Ibn Rushd (Averroes), he became like his teacher a polymath, writing about ethics, metaphysics, religious law, and even astronomy. Much of his medical knowledge was acquired in Fez, Morocco, where he had to flee with his family…

  • Becoming a doctor in Chicago (c. 1954)—The Chicago Maternity Center

    Peter BerczellerEdited by Paul Berczeller An excerpt from Dr. Peter Berczeller’s memoir, The Little White Coat. My group and I were assigned to the Chicago Maternity Center at the end of the obstetrics in November 1955. Despite the recent training at Michael Reese, nothing could have prepared me for the tour of duty at the…

  • Becoming a doctor in Chicago (c. 1954)—Clerkships at Michael Reese Hospital

    Peter BerczellerEdited by Paul Berczeller An excerpt from Dr. Peter Berczeller’s memoir, The Little White Coat. After Cook County, my group and I moved over to Michael Reese Hospital—a pile of old buildings on the near South Side—for our surgical clerkship. Each of us was assigned to a resident and told to stick to him…

  • Becoming a doctor in Chicago (c. 1954)—Clerkship at Cook County Hospital

    Peter H. BerczellerEdited by Paul Berczeller An excerpt from Dr. Peter Berczeller’s memoir, The Little White Coat. Ward 64, the only female medical ward at Cook County Hospital, was to be the home base for daily meetings of our group of five with the instructor assigned to us. Our space—immediately next door to the patients’ toilet—was…

  • Becoming a doctor in Chicago (c. 1954)—The Chicago Medical School

    Peter BerczellerEdited by Paul Berczeller An excerpt from Dr. Peter Berczeller’s memoir, The Little White Coat. Chicago Med was the poor relation among the medical schools ringing Cook County Hospital. The sooty three-story building was dwarfed by the high rises of the Rush and Illinois medical schools close by. Though its building was no taller…