Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Month: October 2021

  • Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

    Portrait of Joseph Haydn. by Thomas Hardy. 1791. Royal College of Music Museum of Instruments. Via Wikimedia. For nearly half of his life Joseph Haydn occupied the humble position of musician in the service of the Esterhazy princes, wearing livery and playing his wonderful compositions while the guests at dinner most likely only half- listened…

  • Edward Lear

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Lear by Wilhelm Marstrand 1840 NPG 3055 [public domain] How pleasant to know Mr Lear! Who has written such volumes of stuff! Some think him ill-tempered and queer But a few think him pleasant enough. Edward Lear 1879 Hundreds of famous people from every branch of…

  • Johannes Jacob Wepfer (1620-1695)

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Johannes Jacob Wepfer. From https://www.prints-online.com/johann-jacob-wepfer-14108627.html The eminent physician Johannes Jakob Wepfer (1620-1695) was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, on the right bank of the Rhine. Little is written of his early years but the child Wepfer may have gazed and wondered about Schaffhausen’s countryside, its many oriel…

  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning—Isolation and the artist

    Elizabeth Lovett Colledge Jacksonville, Florida, United States Elizabeth Barrett Browning is perhaps best known for the poem “How do I Love Thee,” addressed to her husband Robert Browning, as well as their courtship, elopement, and subsequent years together in Europe. However, one might revisit her life and prolific work in light of the many years of…

  • The good, the bad, and the regrettable

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Man . . . cannot learn to forget, but hangs on the past: however far or fast he runs, that chain runs with him.” — Frederick Nietzsche   Lab coat and scrubs. Photo by Samir. 2006. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. What follows is a description of different aspects of…

  • “Am not I a fly like thee?” Drosophila melanogaster and the human genome

    Marshall A. Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   A fruit fly displaying its large red eye. Among Thomas Hunt Morgan’s many contribution to the burgeoning science of genetics, he observed some male fruit flies had a mutant white eye. By cross-breeding males with mutant white eyes with females with the dominant trait and, subsequently,…

  • Maligning Macleod and “Bettering” Best: the discovery of insulin as depicted in film before Michael Bliss

    James R. Wright Jr. Calgary, Alberta, Canada   JJR Macleod circa 1928. Credit: University of Toronto. Via Wikimedia. In 1921, Fred Banting and Charley Best, working under the supervision of JJR Macleod, made crude pancreatic extracts from duct-ligated dog, fetal bovine, or whole adult bovine pancreata and used these to treat diabetes in depancreatized dogs.…

  • Joseph Škoda (1805–1881)

    Joseph Skoda. Charcoal drawing by Berger, 1883, after A. F. Baschta.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark Medicine in Vienna developed in two distinct phases.1-3 The first began in 1745 when Empress Maria Theresa on the advice of Herman Boerhaave4 invited Gerard van Swieten5 to become her personal physician. She also appointed him in charge of medical education,…

  • On the way to school

    Mary Jumbelic Syracuse, New York, United States   Illustration by Joshua Jumbles. Published with permission. A thin line of blood oozed from a shallow cut in the skin, like the first stroke of an artist’s brush on a blank canvas. The second and third incisions intersected the first to form a large Y-shape. Sanguinous fluid…

  • Sacrifice

    Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Ruins of the basilica of St. Achillios, Lake Prespa, Greece. Photo by the author. The supine and inert feminine form has been reduced to a few square centimeters of uncovered skin between the jaw and the sternum. Strategically placed green surgical drapes shroud the rest of the body. A series…