Tag Archives: Anthony Papagiannis

Dialogues of comfort

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Roman copy of a bust of Homer, 2nd century AD, British Museum, London. My patient is a veteran physician, quite advanced in years but mentally lucid and fully aware of his condition. His disease is incurable, and he is in need of a chest aspiration for symptomatic relief of his breathlessness. […]

The treasure trove of memory

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece     Olive Tree with Pansies, Loutraki, Greece Memory, the ability to recall at will previous events and various facts, is a precious mental faculty, an asset that underpins learning, knowledge, and experience in any field of human endeavor. In medicine its value is undeniable, though for legal as well as […]

A CV for posterity

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Lonely tree with timber by Anthony Papagiannis The British Medical Journal (BMJ) is one of the oldest and most eminent general medical journals. Among its many and varied features is a regular obituaries page. Departed members of all branches of the medical profession, academic teachers, researchers and Nobel Prize winners, […]

Shaking hands

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece     Alonissos Island, the Aegean, Greece There is a fine but clearly visible tremor in the pale, smooth, well-groomed hands of my visitor. He makes an effort to keep his face still and composed, lips forcedly stiff, eyes unsmiling, the whole look somber. “I have had a new scan,” he […]

Aspects of distancing

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Corfu Island, Greece. Author Photo. I will call him Bill. We had been unaware of each other’s existence until we first met as elected members of a professional committee in our local medical association. In this capacity we had been working together for several years, convening every two or three months […]

Medicine as handmaiden of technology

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Distorted Reflection by Anthony Papagiannis On the desktop, printed in fancy lettering on expensive paper, lies an invitation for the opening of yet another big diagnostic center. According to the brochure, it will provide the latest equipment in ultramodern premises, perform all sorts of investigations with faster results than ever, and […]

In a scan, darkly

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Every so often I browse through old patient records and before committing them to the shredder I read through the histories they contain. These visits to the past are useful and edifying, allowing a more detached consideration of the events. Has something changed in medical knowledge since then? Do the […]

At the turning point

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Eva was born the year I entered medical school; our life paths would cross two decades later. She went through school, played volleyball regularly, married, and lived a normal and carefree life. Then in her early twenties she gradually began getting breathless and increasingly tired, and had dizzy spells, fainting […]

The flu vaccine: transparency, uncertainty, and trust in medicine

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Sailing for the Holy Mountain from Ouranoupolis, Greece A few years ago the fear of ‘pandemic flu’ was spread widely all over the world, causing what has been termed an “emotional epidemic.”1 The disease itself, its social dimensions, and the ways it was publicly handled could form the subject for an […]

Easy come, easy go

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   The invitation to talk to an informal gathering of his colleagues had come out of the blue. One of the major drug companies in his field had arranged to bring together a score of physicians in an educational opportunity to be held in one of the upper crust restaurants of […]