Tag Archives: Anthony Papagiannis

Spoilsports

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   A lonely couple. Photo by author. The weekly grand rounds was the central educational event at the big teaching hospital. Everybody who could get away from clinical duties, regardless of specialty, attended the Tuesday lunchtime event at which we aspired to present our interesting or puzzling patients, or earn brownie […]

Drama in brief

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Winter foliage. Photo by author. Four years earlier I had had the sad duty to announce her debut as a protagonist on the stage of cancer. Now I was witnessing the last act. She came to the first visit with her elder sister, an old acquaintance from our student days […]

R. Austin Freeman and the Victorian forensic thriller

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Richard Austin Freeman, c. 1935. W.L. Briant. Via Encyclopædia Britannica. Many people today are acquainted with well-known books and television series of forensic crime fiction. The modern detective fiction writer is expected to provide detailed descriptions of autopsies, current technology, pharmacology, and toxicology. Yet, even in this relatively new version […]

Sacrifice

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Ruins of the basilica of St. Achillios, Lake Prespa, Greece. Photo by the author. The supine and inert feminine form has been reduced to a few square centimeters of uncovered skin between the jaw and the sternum. Strategically placed green surgical drapes shroud the rest of the body. A series […]

Doctor-patient reunions

Anthony Papagiannis  Thessaloniki, Greece   Sunset. Photo by Anthony Papagiannis The upper half of the face I could see behind the Covid-dictated mask did not tell me much, but the surname she gave rang a clear bell. I had seen several members of a family of the same name in the past, and looking into […]

A wrong time to die

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Lockdown in Thessaloniki. Photo by the author. Death is the one absolute and unexceptional certainty in life. In the Bible we read that there is a time for everything, including a time to die [Ecclesiastes 3:2]. Is there ever a “right” time to die? Faced with such a question, we […]

Young, pretty, and not quite right

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Photo by Anthony Papagiannis. Unless we are in pediatrics, we start in clinical practice with our patients tending to be in the age range of our parents, or even older. Increasingly, as the grey in our temples is promoted to silver, their mean age gets closer to ours, and the […]

Not-so-natural history

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Photo by Anthony Papagiannis Physicians learn about chronic disease by watching its natural history and attempting to modify it with therapies. Cardiologists record episodes of ischemic disease, oncologists follow the progression of malignancies, and pulmonologists note changes in respiratory function over time. When patients are first seen, the disease is […]

Great expectations

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Summer Calm—image by the author “Doctor, I want you to treat her as a forty-year old!” What is the appropriate answer to a demand like that from a daughter about the treatment of her eighty-eight-year-old mother? Any suggestion that her mother might not do well even with the best treatment […]

Washing our hands

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Winter Sunshine, Halkidiki, Greece. Photo by the author Ever since Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, washed his hands before condemning Jesus Christ to death by crucifixion, this simple act of personal sanitation has been used as the figurative icon of a disclaimer, the denial of responsibility. Today, in […]