Tag Archives: Britain

Thomas Keith; pioneer photographer and pioneer surgeon

Iain Macintyre Edinburgh, Scotland   Figure 1. Thomas Keith. Artist and date unknown. Etching with Keith’s signature (image reproduced with permission Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh). “His success so far outstripped that of all other operators, that it became a wonder and admiration of surgeons all over the world.”1 So wrote J Marion Sims […]

Thriving in the face of uncertainty

Sally Mather Chris Millard Ian Sabroe Sheffield, England   The experience of uncertainty has appeared as a frequent narrative in articles, autobiographies, and memoirs written by doctors over the last century. A persistent belief that better training, tests, evidence, and pathways will reduce uncertainty has not been borne out in the experience of contemporary clinicians. […]

Neville Samuel Finzi—British radiotherapy pioneer

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Neville Samuel Finzi. Courtesy of British Institute of Radiology. Neville Samuel Finzi was born on June 25, 1881.1 He was the son of Gerald Finzi’s uncle, Leon, who was also a doctor. Gerald Finzi was a British composer famous for his song cycles, choral music, and reflective instrumental and […]

Sir Victor Horsley’s fatal blind spot

Faraze A. Niazi Jack E. Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, United States     Sir Victor Horsley. Photograph by G.C. Beresford. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses; it is an idea that possesses the mind. -Robert Oxton Bolton Sir Victor Horsley is generally regarded as the […]

Plague epidemics and the evolution of language in England

Andrew P. K. Wodrich Washington, DC, United States   Pierart dou Tielt’s illustration depicts the mortal toll of the Black Death in a Belgian town circa 1353. Similarly, the plague decimated the population of England, spurring the change from French to English as the country’s dominant spoken language. Via Wikimedia Commons here.  Epidemics have had a profound impact […]

The past and future of blood banking

Eva Kitri Mutch Stoddart Saigon, Vietnam   Image from “Clysmatica nova: sive ratio, qua in venam sectam medicamenta immitti possint, ut eodem modo, ac si per os assumta fuissent, operentur: addita etiam omnibus seculis inaudita sanguinis transfusion,” Artist: Elsholtz, Johann Sigismund (1623-1688), Date: 1667. Further details Blood oozes allure. The elixir of life, viscous and […]

Blood relics and contemporary memory

Robbie Porter Worcester, England   Basement room of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, where the Russian Imperial Family were executed. Investigator Nicholas Sokolov apparently recovered 13 drops of blood from here. Source In the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich there is an exhibit, carefully preserved in an environmentally conditioned case, which is amongst its most […]

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent

Mawuli Tettey Ghana   The Red Cross Society is a worldwide humanitarian and volunteer-based organization that protects human life and health by rendering assistance to anyone who may need it. In 1862, a Swiss man named Jean-Henri Dunant published a book titled A Memory of Solferino in which he called for the creation of national […]

Brief encounters

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Quicksilver in blue. Photo by Anthony Papagiannis. Doctor-patient relationships are as unique as the potential pairs of doctors and patients. At one end of the spectrum there is the one-time encounter, usually for some straightforward and self-limiting problem: the doctor may never see the patient again. At the other extreme, […]

Sir Charles Symonds 1890-1978 , the neurologist’s neurologist

There was a time when medical practitioners in England would refer their difficult cases to a neurologist paid by the health services to come once a week to consult at the local hospital. Faced with a difficult or puzzling case, this consultant neurologist would send the patient to be seen at the National Hospital for […]