Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Month: October 2020

  • Volume 12, Issue 4 – Fall 2020

    Frontispiece Ghirlandaio: The portrait of an elderly man and young boy, Vincent P. de Luise Syndrome de Lasthénie de Ferjol, Krishna G. Badami Learning about children, Canon Brodar Samuel Mudd, MD: Good Samaritan or conspirator?, Kevin R. Loughlin Women in medicine: The trial of Jacoba Felicie de Almania, Mariel Tishma Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and…

  • The Siege

    Glen P. Aylward  Springfield, Illinois, United States   The Siege reflects the battle society is currently waging against a formidable adversary—COVID-19. The colors indicate fear and frustration, but also hope. Front-line medical personnel wearing PPE are depicted in the background. The painting is acrylic on canvas. The Siege. Glen P. Aylward. Acrylic on canvas.  …

  • Parkinson’s

    Glen P. Aylward  Springfield, Illinois, United States   In Parkinson’s, the colors express the emotional intensity and frustration experienced by those with Parkinson’s Disease, while the inflammation and anatomic components of the disease are also depicted by the shapes. I have experienced these emotions and symptoms since my diagnosis of PD 8 years ago. The…

  • Notes on a first abortion

    Henry Bair  Stanford, California, United States   Mother and Child by the Sea. Johan Christian Dahl. 1830. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public Domain. The first time I saw a late-term abortion by dilation and evacuation, I was surprised that it was a fairly minor procedure. I was to observe the termination at twenty-three weeks of…

  • Best friends for never

    Ariya Mobaraki Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Three people contemplate the cadaver of Saint Petronilla. Etching by James Basire, 1764, after Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, il Guercino… Credit: Wellcome Collection.  (CC BY 4.0) I stand looking over you, Wishing I could turn back time. Wondering what wisdom you would give me, Back in your prime.  …

  • Not as a Stranger: The desperate medical student

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Doctors or medical students listening to their heartbeats using a multiple stethoscope. Photograph. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) In order to study medicine, a future doctor needs motivation, some intelligence, a medical school, and the ability to pay for the education. Morton Thompson’s 1954 novel Not…

  • Schizophrenia in Nikolai Gogol’s Diary of a Madman and Lu Xun’s A Madman’s Diary

    Janet Ming Guo Atlanta, Georgia, United States   Photograph of Lu Xun on 8 October 1936, 11 days before his death, attending the Second Woodcarving Exhibition in Baxianqiao, Shanghai. Photograph taken by Sha Fei. Circa 8 October 1936. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons. Lu Xun’s 狂人日記 (A Madman’s Diary; 1918)1 was inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s Записки…

  • Coleridge and the albatross syndrome

    Nicolás Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the tenth and last child of the vicar of Ottery Saint Mary near Devonshire, England, was born on October 21, 1772. In vivid letters recounting his early years he describes himself as “a genuine Sans culotte, my veins uncontaminated with one drop of Gentility.” He had an amazing…

  • “Looking at … Looking away”: A challenging and vital skill

    Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Alice Neel Self-Portrait. Alice Neel. 1980. Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. © Estate of Alice Neel, 1980. For nearly a decade, I have used images of paintings to teach students in health care professions how to cultivate the skills of looking while learning to recognize their own…

  • Alfred Skirrow Robinson: the colorful life of a Roaring Twenties surgeon

    Stephen Martin Durham, UK & Thailand   Fig 1. Bentley Speed Six. Source: Craig Howell, CC BY 2.0,  Wikimedia In 1926 my grandfather started work for Dr. A.S. Robinson in Redcar, a small town on the Yorkshire coast. The doctor needed a driver—at least that was the plan at first. He sent him for a…