Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: antibiotics

  • Scotland’s Anthrax Island

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “They make a desolation and call it peace.”— Agha Shahid Ali (1949–2001) During World War Two, the British government purchased from its owners the Gruinard Island, a one by two km island off the Scottish coast. The one inhabitant was evicted, and the island became the site of secret tests to weaponize…

  • Memories of a West Virginia coal camp

    Calvin KuninColumbus, Ohio, United States This is a brief account of my experience as a physician at a coal mining camp in rural West Virginia. It is based on my memory of events that took place almost seventy years ago but remain vivid in my mind. The adventure began the day I graduated from medical…

  • Albert C. Barnes, MD: the physician who spun silver into gold

    Sylvia Karasu New York, New York, United States   Argyrol, the compound developed by Dr. Albert C. Barnes and Dr. Hermann Hille to treat ophthalmia neonatorum, a conjunctivitis that led to blindness in newborns then caused by gram-negative gonococcus bacteria. Infection was contracted from mothers during vaginal delivery. Credit: Argyrol bottle, c. 1902-1907, Barnes &…

  • Professionalism in crisis: Dr. Winkel and The Third Man

    Paul DakinLondon, United Kingdom Times of crisis may highlight the best and worst characteristics of people. Many of us yearn to be heroes and yet what is revealed under pressure may fall short of our ideal. Doctors share this human frailty. Is medical training and professionalism enough to overcome personal weakness, allowing our behavior to…

  • The talk

    Akshay Khatri Valhalla, New York, United States   Photo from Pixabay I walked into the emergency department with a sense of trepidation. The patient I was evaluating was Mrs. G, a woman whom I had cared for in the hospital a few months earlier. Now she was back from the nursing home with more shortness…

  • Medical and scientific innovations arising from warfare

    Brian OmondiNairobi, Kenya Perhaps the only bright side of war is that it impels nations to make medical and scientific innovations. War has long been portrayed as being the best school for surgeons and even for doctors.1 An association between medical services and the military can be traced back to ancient Greece, and the link has…