Tag Archives: 20th century

Origins of the knee jerk

JMS Pearce  East Yorks, England   Wilhelm Heinrich Erb. By F. Langbein & Cie. Heidelberg. 1897. Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0 Reflex hammers are the icon or hallmark of every neurologist. How important are the reflexes they elicit? What is their mechanism? The advent of modern technology has made it easy to forget […]

The scourge, the scientist, and the swindle

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Alice Augusta Ball, 1915. (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain) “The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as […]

Ghirlandaio, humanism, and truth: the portrait of an elderly man and young boy

Vincent P. de Luise New Haven, Connecticut, United States   Figure 1. Portrait of an Elderly Man and Child (Ritratto di un Vecchio e Nipote) Domenico Ghirlandaio, tempera on poplar panel. 1490. Louvre. Source. “. . . There is no more human a picture in the entire range of Quattrocento painting, whether in or out […]

Children treating children: Anne Shirley as clinician

Kathryne Dycus Madrid, Spain   First edition cover of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, published 1908. Cover art by George Fort Gibbs (1870—1942). Public Domain. Childhood classics provide a range of illness narratives, reminding readers of dangers now preventable and even treatable, but also of the universal imperatives of understanding and accommodating […]

Potts and Pott

John Raffensperger Fort Meyer, Florida, United States   Portrait of Percivall Pott by George Romney, unsigned, 1788. From the Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons, London. Source Willis Potts and Percival Pott were both highly skilled surgeons, prolific authors, and contributed to the surgical care of children.   Percival Pott (1714-1788) Percival Pott, at age […]

John Francis Hall-Edwards—a radiology pioneer

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Hall-Edwards (Courtesy of The Library of Birmingham Archives) John Francis Hall-Edwards was born on 19 December 1858 in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He was educated at King Edwards School in Birmingham followed by Queen’s College, Birmingham where he studied medicine and was an apprentice to […]

Cinema MD: A History of Medicine on Screen

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Cover of Cinema MD: A History of Medicine on Screen In 1895 Wilhelm Röntgen discovered X-rays in his lab in Wurzburg and the Lumiere brothers demonstrated cinema in Paris. X-rays revolutionized medical practice by enabling doctors to see inside the body for the first time without resorting to surgery. […]

Canadian contributions to the study of pathology

Guillermo Quinonez Laurette Geldenhuys Nova Scotia, Canada   John George Adami, Head of the Department of Pathology, McGill University, Quebec, Canada, author of The Principles of Pathology. Wikipedia Canadian and American medicine in general, and pathology in particular, have developed in parallel and in synchrony since the nineteenth century. Despite Canada’s limited population, scientific cultural […]

The surgery of pyloric stenosis in Chicago

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Arthur Dean Bevan, MD, FACS, 1861-1943. Circa 1915. From the Archives of the American College of Surgeons.  Harald Hirschprung, a Danish pediatrician, in 1888 described the clinical course and pathology of two infants who died with congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis.1 Gastroenterostomy was adopted for the treatment of infants […]

Have we learned anything from 1918-1919 influenza?

Edward Winslow Wilmette, Illinois, United States   Actual daily deaths from influenza, September to November 1918. Monthly Bulletin of the Department of Health, December 1918. NYC Municipal Library. Source.  The 2020 viral pandemic (COVID-19),1 in spite of being caused by a novel virus family, bears striking epidemiological and social resemblance to the influenza pandemic of 1918.2 […]