Monthly Archives: March 2023

Spring 2023 Mockup

Volume 15, Issue 2 – Spring 2023 ISSN 2155-3017 For information and announcements visit About   Hektoen International is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022–23 Medical Student Essay Contest. Winner: Soul power, Shannon-Adams Hartung Runner-Up: From silks to science: The history of hematoxylin and eosin staining, Vidhi Naik Thank you to all who […]

King Wamba’s poisoning with cytisine

Nicolas Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Wamba Renouncing the Crown. Juan Antonio de Ribera, oil on canvas, 1819. Museo del Prado. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. In AD 409, the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Suevi and the Vandals (of Germanic stock) and the Alans (of Asian origin). The Visigoths came next. They […]

Conflict about the clitoris: Colombo versus Fallopio

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Anatomical theatre of Padua. Photo by Marco Bisello on Wikimedia. “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” – Oscar Wilde   The clitoris, a female genital structure anatomically homologous to the penis, was known to the ancients. In 540 BC, the Greek Hipponax made one of the earliest references […]

Books, bangles, and bravado

Jill Kar New Delhi, India   Figure 1. Anandi Gopal Joshi (March 31, 1865 – February 26, 1887). Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Anandibai Joshee (Anandi) set sail from India at the age of eighteen. Bartering her bangles for books, she traded convention for an education, which was considered shameful in nineteenth-century India.1 In doing so, […]

A time to live and a time to die

Amera Hassan Minneapolis, Minnesota   Photo by Gaspar Zaldo on Pexels. “Well to be honest, doc, I don’t quite care whether I do live or die.” He said it so nonchalantly and he was smiling too, a crow-footed wrinkle on either side of his eyes. When this patient was first admitted to the floor, he […]

Sea sick: Naval surgery and sanitation in eighteenth-century Britain

Melissa Yeo Ontario, Canada   Instruments in a Surgeon’s Chest (click to enlarge). From The surgeons mate or military and domestique surgery, John Woodall, 1639. Wellcome Collection. Public domain. Scurvy, yellow fever, and typhus were considered “the three Great Killers of seamen.”1 Hygiene and diet were very poor aboard eighteenth-century sailing vessels, as ships were often […]

The origins of the word “hospital”

Simon Wein Petach Tikvah, Israel   According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “hospital” is derived from the Old French “ospital,” meaning hostel, shelter, lodging, or shelter for the needy. The origin can be traced to the Latin “hospitale” and persists in the modern French “hôpital.” The OED states further: The sense of “charitable […]

Further observations on the centenary of Vegemite

Morris Odell Melbourne, Australia   “Vegemite Breakfast.” Photo by Janeen on Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. The articles by doctors James Franklin and George Dunea on Vegemite and Marmite1,2 certainly struck a chord with me. Their observation that Vegemite is a symbol of Australia’s national identity barely does justice to its place in Australian culture and […]

Posthumous reproduction

Ian Cooke Sheffield, England   Cryopreserved sperm being removed from liquid nitrogen for thawing prior to use. Photo courtesy of Dr. M.J. Tomlinson. Family structures ensure that one’s genes are passed down through generations, but that does not always go according to plan. The opportunity may not arise because childhood or adolescent disease, notably cancer […]

Hadrian and Frank’s sign

Vittoria Sabatini Florence, Italy   Bust of Hadrian with view of creased ear. Capitoline Museums. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. It is difficult to remain an emperor in the presence of a physician, and difficult even to keep one’s essential quality as man. The professional eye saw in me only a mass of humors, a sorry […]