Books & Reviews - Hektoen International

Book review: My Years with the British Red Cross

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of My Years with The British Red Cross: A Chief Executive Reflects by Sir Nick Young. The Red Cross is known worldwide as a great humanitarian achievement. The charity was founded by Swiss businessman Henri Dunant, who was moved by the lack of care available to people who […]

Book review: The Soul of Medicine: Tales from the Bedside

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Life is short, and the art long; the occasion fleeting, experience fallacious, and judgment difficult.” – Hippocrates   Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash. The Soul of Medicine is a slender (200-page) book by surgeon-author Sherwin B. Nuland. It contains twenty-one essays, each one based on a “tale” told […]

Book review: A History of Women in Medicine and Medical Research

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Cover of A History of Women in Medicine and Medical Research: Exploring the Trailblazers of STEM by Dale DeBakcsy Research and writing on women’s contributions to science and medicine are needed and welcome. Books about science and medical advances have often concentrated primarily on men’s achievements and have a […]

Making radiation visible: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Godzilla

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Gojira (Godzilla) poster. © Toho Company, 1954. Via Wikimedia. Fair use. “The theme of the film, from the beginning, was the terror of the bomb.”1 – Tomoyuki Tanaka, producer of Gojira (Godzilla)   The Third Reich surrendered to the Allies in early May 1945. This did not yet end World […]

Book review: The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Common problem: a water well (foreground) is in close proximity to a pit latrine (brick building at the back), leading to groundwater pollution. Crop of photo by Kennedy Mayumbelo, 2006. SuSanA Secretariat on Flickr, via English Wikipedia. CC BY 2.0. Its title might seem frivolous, but this book is serious, […]

Book review: The Oxford Handbook of Science and Medicine in the Classical World

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Cover of The Oxford Handbook of Science and Medicine in the Classical World, edited by PT Keyser and J Scarborough. Classical antiquity has long been a subject of human fascination. The time period covered in this book ranges from around 1000 BCE to 650 CE. The editors have produced […]

Movie review: Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Surgeons operating aboard the USS Harry S. Truman. US Navy photo via Wikimedia. Public domain. “Medicine is power. It makes us giants.” – Dr. Daniele Valotti in Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca   Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca (1973) is an understated, well-acted, and critical “doctor movie.” Unlike The Hospital, it is […]

Book review: Am I Normal?

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, England   Cover of Am I Normal?: The 200-Year Search for Normal People (and Why They Don’t Exist) by Sarah Chaney “Am I normal?” is a question that many of us ask at some point in our lives. The existential angst of the twentieth century has resulted in a desire to […]

Doctor Cabbie: No good deed goes unpunished

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Restored Checker cab in use as a wedding photo prop in New York City. Photo by Jim.henderson, May 14, 2011, on Wikimedia. Public domain. “I was bound by an oath that I took.” – Doctor Cabbie   Doctor Cabbie (2014) begins with Deepak V. Chopra (played by Vinay Virmani) reciting […]

Movie review: Where Does it Hurt?

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Peter Sellers in 1971. RR Auction. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. “This film is dedicated to the honest, sincere MDs—whose lives are dedicated to the sacred Hippocratic oath. Will these three doctors please stand up?”   This dedication sets the tone of Where Does It Hurt? (1972). Unlike the 1971 film […]