Author Archives: Hektoen International


Walter Charleton (1619–1707)

Walter Charleton. Via Wikimedia. Walter Charleton was primarily a polymath but also a distinguished medical man. He read widely; wrote on religion, physics, physiology, psychology, geology, zoology, and botany; and is the listed author of thirty printed books and four manuscripts.1 One of his biographers mentions, without further comment, that the future physician made a […]

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 Jiang Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Dance of Death. Leaf by Michael Wolgemut from The Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 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 […]

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 Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Dish of crawdads. Photo by Justin Watt via Wikimedia. CC BY 3.0. “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 […]

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 […]