Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Year: 2022

  • Dictator on the couch: The only known psychological treatment of Adolf Hitler

    Robert M. Kaplan Australia   Top: Hitler in Landsberg Prison common room with (from left) Hess, Herman Kriebel, Fobke and Dr. Friedrich Weber. Chronicle / Alamy Stock Photo. Bottom: Landsberg Prison for War Criminals, 1933. Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / Alamy Stock Photo. It is perhaps not widely known that Adolf Hitler, one of the most…

  • Doctors’ husbands

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe The stereotypical image of the “medical couple” is changing: it is no longer the doctor-husband and his nonphysician-wife. This change is permanent and will accelerate, since 60% of American medical students1 and 54% of physicians2 are women. Eighty percent…

  • Wilson on the couch: How Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt, an American diplomat, came to analyze the American president

    James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Thomas Woodrow Wilson. Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. In December 1966, Houghton Mifflin Company published Thomas Woodrow Wilson: Twenty-Eighth President of the United States, A Psychological Study by Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt. The curious fact that Sigmund Freud, the…

  • The two Scottish doctors John Brown

    Left: John Brown (1735–1788). US National Archives. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Right: John Brown (1810–1882). Wellcome Collection via Wikimedia. CC BY 4.0.   There were two John Brown physicians of note in Scotland, sometimes confused with one another and for practical purposes identified by the date of their birth. The older John Brown was born…

  • Compassion in the emergency room

    Raymond Bellis Stony Brook, New York, United States     Photo by JacksonDavid on Pixabay. Yet another shift in the Emergency Department—between the frenzied rush of staff, the constant pinging of monitors, and the chaotic overhead announcements, I didn’t find the environment particularly conducive to healing. But as a dedicated student in my third year…

  • Hemiplegic migraine, the monster

    Ceres Alhelí Otero PenicheMexico City, Mexico The authors of great literary works allow their readers to enter into the very precincts of their imaginations, leading them to the most fantastical places they could have ever imagined. Sadly, however, the authors who create these magical works are just as prone to suffer from the same terrible…

  • Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Baghdad physician and polymath

    Hunayn ibn Ishaq (809–873), the “sheik of the translators,” was an influential Christian translator, scholar, physician, and scientist who lived in Baghdad at the height of the Abbasid civilization. He was very learned and spoke four languages: Arabic, Syriac, Greek, and Persian. Traveling to the Greek Byzantine Empire in search of manuscripts, he translated works…

  • Margery Kempe: Medieval visions, delusions, and hallucinations

    Margery Kempe (c. 1393 – after 1438) was an English Christian mystic who dictated autobiographic notes to a scribe. Married when twenty years old, she had a postpartum psychotic episode after the birth of her first child and went through at least fourteen subsequent pregnancies. Psychotic symptoms, delusions, and hallucinations continued all her life. She had…

  • Paruresis: “Shy bladder” syndrome

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Keep calm and carry on.”– British motivational poster, 1939 Paruresis is the fear of being unable to urinate without privacy. It is more than simple shyness or embarrassment, but is rather an “intermittent idiopathic form of urinary retention.”1 In severe cases, the individual can only urinate at home, alone. The term “paruresis”…

  • Gently, Doctor, tell me what you see

    Florence GeloPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States In order to emphasize the role of the arts when teaching the humanities in medicine, I have often taken medical students, residents, and doctors to art museums to develop the art of looking. During one such program for medicine residents at the Reading Public Museum, we looked at a work…