Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: cardiologist

  • The “weak” intern

    Htet Khine Reno, Nevada, United States   Photo by Marcelo Leal on Unsplash “She is quite weak,” I overheard two senior residents say about one of my co-interns. I tried to tune out the conversation—I did not have enough time or mental capacity to comprehend what being “weak” entailed. I was busy writing notes, answering…

  • No complaints, only symptoms

    Peter Arnold Sydney, Australia “No complaints, only symptoms,” I told my cardiologist this year. How dare I complain? I am eighty-four. Thirty-two years have passed since my quintuple coronary artery bypass; eighteen years since a diagnosis, in one of eleven biopsy samples, of invasive prostate cancer—left untreated, because so few of us die from it; five…

  • General Robert E. Lee’s myocardial infarction: Did illness impact the Battle of Gettysburg?

    Lloyd Klein San Francisco, California, United States   Robert E. Lee in March 1864[?]. Photo by Julian Vannerson. Library of Congress. No known restrictions on publication. Ascribing the loss of the Battle of Gettysburg to an illness of General Robert E. Lee became common among historians thirty years ago. The legend of his apparently poor…

  • Intubation incarceration: A true tale of torture

    Abram GabrielPiscataway, New Jersey, United States For five days, I could not speak at all. In November 2010, I had a brainstem stroke resulting from an arteriovenous fistula. I spent nearly a month in a coma in a regional teaching hospital, and seven weeks in an acute rehabilitation center. While my mind is now clear,…

  • Richard J. Bing: Reflecting on a century of creativity and innovation

    Joseph BurnsYehuda ShapirNew Hyde Park, New York, United States As the tenth anniversary of the passing of Dr. Richard J. Bing approaches, the occasion offers an opportune moment to reflect on the life and momentous achievements of an eminent cardiologist. Richard J. Bing was born in Nuremberg, Germany on October 12, 1909.1 His father was…

  • How to save a life

    Sam Campbell Moh’D Ibrahim Johnson City, Tennessee, United States   “We had been happy together, though it took years to convince her family to allow us to marry.” My wife is in Texas, threatening to file divorce papers. I am here, 996 miles away, trying to find Mrs. Smith who has wandered out of her…

  • Physician, heal thyself

    Moustapha AbousamraVentura, California, United States “Physician, heal thyself” is a biblical reminder (Luke 4:23) that while physicians are eager and able to heal illness in others, they are often unable to heal themselves. A similar saying, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes,” was mentioned in the Oxford Dictionary as early as 1546, demonstrating that this…

  • A love story

    Kate Rowland Chicago, Illinois, United States   “Is that her partner in there with her?” Ankita, a second-year resident, and I had just finished seeing a new patient, Marian. Marian’s detailed problem list had required an equally detailed visit, and Ankita had addressed her urgent issues: uncontrolled diabetes, cirrhosis, and stage 3 congestive heart failure.…

  • Empathy for medical students

    David Jeffrey Edinburgh, United Kingdom   Medical students check blood glucose on a patient. On a windy corner of Drummond Street, not far from Rutherford’s pub in Edinburgh, there is a small bronze plaque with these words: “And when I remembered all that I hoped and feared as I pickled about Rutherford’s in the rain…

  • A teacher remembered

    Martin Duke Mystic, Connecticut   “Ludwig W Eichna, MD, NYU Medical Violet 1950. Image courtesy of the Lillian and Clarence de la Chapelle Medical Archives at NYU. While a student in medical school during the early 1950s, I was assigned by chance to the medical service of Dr. Ludwig Eichna at New York City’s Bellevue…