Tag Archives: Boston

Strabismo di Venere—Michelangelo’s David

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1: Eyes of David. Photo by George M. Groutas. 2019. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 2.0. It is one of the most recognizable sculptures in Western art, the work of an acclaimed Renaissance artist. For over 600 years, it has been viewed by millions of tourists and […]

W.W. Keen: physician to the presidents

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1. The cheek retractor used in Cleveland’s operation. From The surgical operations on President Cleveland in 1893 by W. W. Keen. 1917. Via the Internet Archive. William Williams Keen served in the American Civil War and was present at the first and second Battle of Bull […]

Parental grief

Ellen Zhang Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels We didn’t know the ending because this was us back then. Sometimes wanting is not enough. When the oncologist spoke. While you started to cry only because your mother did. As we cradled you gently. Beyond the singularity of such moments. There […]

The history of quarantine and contact tracing as surveillance strategies

Mariella Scerri Victor Grech Malta   A view of the city of Malta, on the side of the Lazaretto or pest-house, where ships perform quarantine, by Joseph Goupy, around 1740-1760. Public Domain. Source. Quarantine, from the Italian quaranta, meaning forty, is a centuries-old public health measure instituted to control the spread of infectious diseases by […]

Presentism

Jayant Radhakrishnan Chicago, Illinois, United States   “Elihu Yale; William Cavendish, the second Duke of Devonshire; Lord James Cavendish; Mr. Tunstal; and an Enslaved Servant” Previously hung at Woodbridge Hall of Yale University. Now at the Yale center for British Art. Yale Center for British Art, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons  The Oxford English Dictionary […]

“Gentlemen! This is no humbug.”

Summer A. Niazi Jack E. Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   First Operation Under Ether, by Robert C. Hinckley, Boston Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, 1882-1893 (Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology) Source The words “Gentlemen! This is no humbug” is one of the most famous statements in the history of […]

C. Miller Fisher: Stroke in the twentieth century

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Stroke, in spite of its serious and widespread impact, had long received little interest from physicians. C. Miller Fisher, one of the twentieth century’s outstanding neurologists and researchers, revolutionized the management of stroke. In this well-researched and readable biography, Louis Caplan, a distinguished Harvard neurologist and former trainee of […]

In praise of swimming: from Benjamin Franklin to Oliver Sacks

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Oliver Sacks as a young child with his father. Courtesy of the Oliver Sacks Foundation. Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was not a physician, but many thought he was so-trained and referred to him as “Doctor” Franklin. After accepting an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in […]

The Quaker and the Jew, an enduring and impactful friendship: Thomas Hodgkin and Moses Montefiore

Marshall A. Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   Obelisk over Hodgkin grave site in Jaffa, Israel. Moses Montefiore, on his return to England, purchased a column of Aberdeen granite nine feet tall and had it inscribed with a lengthy tribute to Hodgkin “as a mark of my respect and esteem.” It was transported to […]

Revisiting the “Trolley Problem” in the COVID-19 pandemic

Margaret B. Mitchell Boston, Massachusetts, United States Graham M. Attipoe  Nashville, Tennessee, United States   Bridge situation. John Holbo. 2010. CC BY-NC 2.0. Via Flickr The “Trolley Problem” Originally described by Philipa Foot in 1967, the “Trolley Problem” is an ethical dilemma commonly taught in philosophy that challenges participants to explore how far they would […]