Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Month: May 2023

  • Body Scan 2023

    Dome Witt Calgary, Alberta, Canada   After being injured in a collision, the artist took to exploring the experience through a series of paintings. A CT scan taken before the repairing of the artist’s hip serves as the base of one of these paintings, entitled Body Scan 2023. Silver foil highlights fractures in the artist’s…

  • Pierre Fauchard (1678–1761), dentistry’s founding father

    Brody Fogleman Cristin Grant Harsh Jha Noel Brownlee Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States   Pierre Fauchard (1678–1761) Dr. Pierre Fauchard was a French surgeon and dentist who worked in Paris.1 He is widely accepted as the father of dentistry because of his many important contributions to the discipline and is particularly well-known for his work…

  • Mrs. Dalloway and shell shock

    Cristóbal S. Berry-Cabán Fort Liberty, North Carolina, United States   Shell shock. Upon suffering a head injury and the loss of his eardrum, this soldier developed shell shock and was put in the Sunshine Room at Chaumont Hospital, installed by the American Red Cross. The room contained absolute quiet, harmonious colors, and cheerful surroundings. Library…

  • From poppy to morphine and heroin

    JMS Pearce Hull, England   Among the remedies which it has pleased almighty God to give to man to relieve his sufferings, none is so universal and so efficacious as opium. – Thomas Sydenham, 1680   The controversial pharmaceutical company Farbenfabriken Bayer AG* had an important role in the development of morphine, heroin, and aspirin,…

  • The Medical Inkling: R.E. Havard, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien

    Sarah O’Dell Irvine, California, United States   R.E. Havard and C.S. Lewis at The Trout Inn, Oxford, circa 1950s. Private collection. Used with permission of the Havard Family.  In a smoky back corner of an Oxford pub and the book-filled rooms of Magdalen College, the celebrated writing group known as the “Inklings” gathered, debated, and laughed…

  • Memento mori in medicine

    Stephanie JiangToronto, Ontario, Canada It is easy to believe that humankind’s greatest fear is death. From our humble beginnings to now modern-day society, we have learned that Death will always chase us. Few professions explore our mortality so candidly; in most Western occupations, death is seldom mentioned. Dying is spoken of in hushed tones, and…

  • Psychopathological aspects of the war in Ukraine

    Sergei Jargin Moscow, Russia   Euromaidan, Kiev, April 2015. Paranoid leaders can remain in positions of great power in nations that lack appropriate checks and balances.1 This is particularly likely in one-party states where mass intimidation and imposed homogeneity of thinking prevail and where everyone conforms with the ruling party. Grave consequences can occur when…

  • Haff disease: We don’t know all of it

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “It was an unbelievably sad thing to watch. Strong men being carried from their fishing boats to their homes—completely stiff and utterly helpless.”– Witness to 1924 disease outbreak In the history of medicine there are examples of diseases “rising and falling.” They appear abruptly, sicken or kill people for a period of…

  • John Huxham (1694–1768)

    John Huxham. Thomas Reynell c. 1756. Via Wikimedia. To be remembered for almost 300 years after practicing medicine in an English provincial town is no mean feat. This is particularly so considering that John Huxham made no significant advances in medicine other than describing the epidemics affecting his hometown and for supposedly introducing the term…

  • Matthew Dobson (1735?–1784)

    Matthew Dobson. Source Matthew Dobson is remembered mainly for examining in 1775 a thirty-three-year-old man and completing his evaluation by tasting his blood and his urine. He found the serum was opaque, much resembling common cheese whey, but not as sweet as the urine. On heating the urine, he found a residual granulated white cake…