Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Month: November 2021

  • Béla Bartók (1881-1945): The years in America, triumph over tragedy

    James L. Franklin George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   Fig 1. Béla Bartók in 1927. Unknown Photographer. Via Wikimedia. Black clouds of war were hanging over the world when Béla Bartók and his wife Ditta Pásztory (1903-1982) disembarked in New York Harbor on October 30, 1940. For the remainder of his life, Bartók would…

  • Indo-European for health professionals

    The Indo-Europeans were a group of people whose language is presumed to be the ancestor of most modern languages spoken in Europe and in parts of Asia. They left behind almost no tangible evidence of their existence other than some funeral mounds, but seem to have been an agricultural people who lived around the Black…

  • Book review: Medicine in the Middle Ages

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of Medicine in the Middle Ages by Juliana Cummings. In the history of Western Europe, the Middle Ages refers to the period between the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century through the beginning of the Renaissance in the 1500s. These thousand years were characterized…

  • Depiction of defecation in the works of Pieter Bruegel

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Civilization rests upon two things – the discovery that fermentation produces alcohol, and the voluntary ability to inhibit defecation.” —Robertson Davies, The Rebel Angels The life of the peasant in the sixteenth century was hard. There were wars of religion, war taxes, and Spanish troops occupied the Lowlands. Peasants also had the…

  • O Superman

    John Rasko Carl Power Sydney, Australia   Christopher Reeve comes to South Park to demonstrate all the hope and horror of embryonic stem cells. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, “Krazy Kripples,” South Park, season 7, episode 2 (2003). The creation of human embryonic stem cells in 1998 sparked enormous excitement.1 The superpower that embryos possess—the…

  • Paul Pierre Broca

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Paul Pierre Broca. US National Library of Medicine. At the turn of the nineteenth century, knowledge of how the brain worked was largely conjectural. Intelligence, memory, language, and motor and sensory functions had not been localized. The physiologist Flourens, promoting the notion of “cerebral equipotentiality,” concluded,…

  • Theodor Meynert

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Theodor Meynert. Photo by Ludwig Angerer. Before 1880. Via Wikimedia. Theodor Meynert (1833-1892) (Fig 1) was an eminent if eccentric neuropathologist and psychiatrist. His original work had an impact not just on medicine but on the philosophy of the mind and the “history of materialism.”1 Modern…

  • Guadalupe: One of Spain’s oldest schools of medicine

    Nicolás Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. The Monastery of Guadalupe. Main entrance. Photo by Rafa G. Recuero. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 ES. Guadalupe, a small Spanish town in the district of Cáceres, Extremadura, arose around a monastery. Legend says that a shepherd named Gil Cordero was looking for a stray sheep when…

  • Metastases

    A CXR of a person with lung cancer causing superior vena cava syndrome. Photo by James Heilman, MD. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States   The fact Is they are there, gathered like a clutter of popcorn, some kernels, others fluffy white swirls, but they are there, bound to…

  • Volume 13 Special Issue – Fall 2021

    Hektoen International is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Grand Prix Essay Competition.Winner: C. Louis Leipoldt: The polymath physician and literary giant, Stephen Marcus FinnRunner-Up: “Plague of the Sea, and the Spoyle of Mariners”—A brief history of fermented cabbage as antiscorbutic, Richard de Grijs Honorable Mentions Women surgeons, Moustapha Abousamra Airs and graces:…