Monthly Archives: December 2021

Article 99: saving money versus saving lives

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   A U.S. Marine Corps helicopter transporting wounded during “Operation Urgent Fury”, the U.S. invasion of Grenada in October 1983. photographer: TSgt. M. J. Creen, USMC. Public Domain. Via Wikimedia. “There are some patients we cannot help; there are none who we cannot harm.” —Arthur Bloomfield, M.D. Article 99 is a […]

Two words in the patient portal

Paul Rousseau Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, United States   Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels He lost twenty pounds from January to June. Not purposely. Still, he was pleased; at seventy-nine, he looked svelte, and younger. He lost another twelve pounds from July to December. His lips grimaced. He was a stick figure, his bones […]

“For their own sakes”: The Edinburgh Seven, Surgeon’s Hall Riot, and the fate of English medical women

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Surgeons’ Hall, Edinburgh. Photograph of engraving in the 1890 edition of Cassell’s Old and New Edinburgh by James Grant. Photo by Peter Stubbs. Via Wikimedia. “There seems to be practically no doubt now that women are and will be doctors. The only question really remaining is, how thoroughly […]

Lebanon during the catastrophe

Najat Fadlallah Beirut, Lebanon Julian Maamari Rochester, Minnesota, United States Abeer Hani Beirut, Lebanon   Hope in the catastrophe. Drawing by Najat Fadlallah. After several chaotic cycles of resuscitation attempts, the twenty-something-year-old woman was pronounced dead. This was less than half an hour after a massive blast shook the heart of Beirut, Lebanon on the […]

Furniture of bones

D. Brendan Johnson Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States   Selvportrett i helvete [Self Portrait in Hell]. Edvard Munch. 1903. Munchmuseet. Via Wikimedia. “Would you like the new patient?” My senior resident offered me the next admission, a patient being stabilized in the emergency department after a suicide attempt. As a fresh medical student in the beginning […]

Epidemic cholera and Joseph William Bazalgette

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom     Fig 1. Joseph Bazalgette. Photo by Lock & Whitfield. 1877. National Portrait Gallery London. Via Wikimedia Rampant epidemics of cholera took many lives in the Victorian era. These epidemics were finally overcome with the discovery that cholera was a waterborne infection and by massive reconstruction of the […]

Lebanon: a thumbprint in medicine

Jonathan Mina Beirut, Lebanon   Fig 1. Dr. Debakey, holding the MicroMed-DeBakey VAD (ventricular assist device) with one of his heart transplant patients, David Saucier, a NASA Johnson Space Center engineer. Photo by NASA. July 29, 2013. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0. Lebanon is a country that has long developed and exported physicians and other […]

Return to Lebanon

Elie Najjar Nottingham, United Kingdom   View of Lebanon from an airplane window. Photo by Elie Najjar. “Dear passengers, we will be arriving soon at Beirut International Airport.” We had indeed arrived in Lebanon, the land also called Leb-Uh-Nunh and other names before that. Mesopotamians called it Chaddum Elum or “the fields of God.”1 The […]

Ensor’s use of emesis in art

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   James Ensor, Seven Deadly Sins, Gluttony (1904). Royal Library of Belgium, Brussels. Image cropped to plate size. Via Wikimedia The Belgian artist James Ensor (1860-1949) was born to a Belgian mother, Maria Catherina Haegheman, and an English father, James Frederick Ensor. He was born and spent his entire life in […]

Book review: Greco-Roman Medicine and What it Can Teach Us Today

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: Greco-Roman medicine and what it can teach us today. The Republic of Rome was founded in the sixth century BC. In the third century BC, the western Roman Empire began to spread outside the borders of Italy. Roman rule came to Britain in AD 43 with the […]