Monthly Archives: July 2022

Patients without borders: Cardiac surgery, activism, and advocacy

Annabelle Slingerland Leiden, Netherlands   “Inspired by the media on the Dutch Heart Patient Organization” by Yasmine Hilhorst. In the 1970s, a “patients without borders” organization made it possible for people with severe heart disease to be flown to other countries for treatment that was unavailable in their home country. It was a decade after […]

Book review: How the NHS Coped with COVID-19

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of How the NHS Coped with COVID-19 by Ellen Welch. This work is a timely and important contribution to the literature on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has wreaked havoc worldwide. Following the cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown cause in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019, things […]

Franz Liszt and Lisztomania: “Le concert, c’est moi”

Elizabeth Colledge Jacksonville, Florida, United States   “In the Concert Hall” during a performance of Franz Liszt. 1842 print from Stadtarchiv Weimar, the archives of the city of Weimar, Germany. In Heresies of Music: An A-Z Diagnostic Guide. Much has been written about the hysteria accompanying Beatlemania, and before that, the frenzies generated by Elvis, […]

Dr. Doyen separates conjoined twins in 1902

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Xiphopagus sisters “Radica” and “Doodica” of India before surgical intervention by Eugène Doyen, February 9, 1902. Filmed by Clément-Maurice. From Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine by George M. Gould and Walter L. Pyle. Via French Wikipedia. Public domain. “They were so close to each other that they preferred death to […]

Allowing my death—a delusory end-of-life decision

Wolfgang Lederer Innsbruck, Austria   Photo by Chen Mizrach on Unsplash.  Together with the gift of life, I have received its finiteness, its perishability. As death is inescapable, when might I allow my life to end? Certainly, my life expectancy has to be longer than average, and I demand good physical and mental health right […]

Henry Miller

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Henry Miller. From the author’s personal collection. There are many eminent figures in the worlds of medicine and neurology, most of them distinguished by their clinical skill, academic prowess, scientific originality, or success in establishing major institutes of teaching and research. Henry Miller (1913–1976), though not a laboratory investigator, was […]

Walter Edward Dandy

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Figure 1. Walter Edward Dandy (left) and Harvey Cushing (right). Dandy from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions Portrait Collection.2 In the history of American neurosurgery, two names stand out from the rest: Harvey Cushing (1869–1939) and Walter Edward Dandy (1886–1946). Sadly, they were inveterate rivals. Dandy was undoubtedly a brilliant pioneer […]

Movie review: Première Année (The Freshmen)

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Never memorize something you can look up.” – Albert Einstein “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill   Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash. Première Année (literally “First Year”) is a 2018 French film. In it, we meet and follow two young men in their first year of […]

The tomato in medicine and the Bloody Mary

Tomatoes and a Pewter Tankard on a Table. Oil painting by Paul Gauguin, 1883. art-Gauguin.com. No known restrictions on publication. The tomato was first grown by the Aztecs under the name of tomatl on the slopes of the Andes Mountains in present day Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru, where it was neither cultivated nor eaten […]

Rapid testing for the masses

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   A summer camp of flowers. Photo by author. Ten young girls are queueing outside the makeshift surgery. They are between eleven and fifteen, they wear face masks, they giggle and tease each other and try to encourage the timid ones before the coming ordeal. What is this going to be? […]