Tag Archives: anatomy

Handmaidens of anatomy

Elisabeth Brander St. Louis, Missouri, United States   Fig. 1 Frontispiece of De humani corporis fabrica. Andreas Vesalius. De humani corporis fabrica. Basel: Johannes Oporinus, 1543. Image Credit: Bernard Becker Medical Library. Some of the most well-known images in the history of anatomy are the woodcut écorché figures that appear in Andreas Vesalius’s De humani […]

Healing literature

Scott D. Vander Ploeg Cocoa Beach, Florida, United States   Dr. Vander Ploeg (Ph.D.) checks the lit pressure of the complete works of William Shakespeare published in The Riverside Shakespeare. Photo by Audrey Kon. Courtesy of the author. I taught English courses for thirty years at a community college in western Kentucky. One of the […]

Between Vesalius and the CAT scan

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze, Zoologia “La Specola”, Florence, Italy. Wax anatomical models. September 2006. Photo by Daderot. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 Scribe: noun. A person who copies documents, especially a person who made handwritten copies before the invention of printing. —dictionary.com   The first reliable anatomic drawings based […]

What’s Inside Us?: socio-cultural themes in anatomical naming

Frazer A. Tessema Chicago, Illinois, United States   Drawing by Stratton Tolmie — MD Candidate at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Anatomical terms often read as Latin or Greek gibberish whose main purpose is to be obscure trivia in the first-year medical school ritual called anatomy class. But a surprising trend emerges […]

The year gross anatomy faced the scalpel

Michael Denham New York, New York, United States   An instructor uses Complete Anatomy, a virtual anatomy software, to illustrate sections of the chest. By Michael Denham. As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, anatomy departments across the United States struggled to develop contingency plans to continue training the country’s future physicians. Would this […]

The Valsalva maneuver

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Valsalva’s maneuver. Source It is a paradox that the discovery of the Valsalva maneuver did not relate to cardiovascular physiology but to the treatment of discharges from the ear. Valsalva’s maneuver is now used physiologically1 to test cardiac and autonomic function, and in several other diagnostic and […]

Anatomica: the exquisite and unsettling art of human anatomy

Arpan Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: Anatomica: The Exquisite and Unsettling Art of Human Anatomy, by Joanna Ebenstein  The first known anatomy book was written around 300 BC by Diocles, a Greek philosopher and physician who based his work on animal dissections. Andreas Vesalius’ De Humani corpori Fabrica from 1543 was the first major […]

John Hunter, Harvey Cushing, and acromegaly

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1. Charles Byrne, a giant, George Cranstoun, a dwarf, and three other normal sized men. Etching by J. Kay, 1794. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Introduction John Hunter and Harvey Cushing were two of the most preeminent surgeons of their eras. John Hunter is considered […]

Simon Flexner, infectious diseases pioneer

Simon Flexner. circa 1930s. Courtesy of the Rockefeller Archive Center. Source, Infectious diseases shaped the life of Simon Flexner, who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most successful and prominent scientists in American medicine. His contributions to the field of infectious diseases were legion. He became the first chairman of pathology at […]

The first effective chemotherapy for cancer

Marshall A. Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   Caution: Chemotherapy. Photo by Justin Levy. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0   Sulfur mustard gas had no influence on the outcome of the battle at Ypres during World War I despite the many deaths and severe injuries it inflicted. Since then, chemical weapons have been used in […]