Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Chekhov

  • The use of force in medicine

    Angad TiwariIndiaMallika KhuranaJapan William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), regarded as “the most important literary doctor since Chekhov,” was an American Pulitzer prize-winning writer and poet who stands amongst the few full-time practicing physicians to have achieved literary distinction.1 He regarded art and medicine as “two parts of a whole,” and the intimate doctor-patient interface proved a…

  • THEME

    RUSSIAN LITERATURE Published in October, 2020 H E K T O R A M A   .     THE EDUCATION OF DOCTOR CHEKHOV       Chekhov was neither an academic star, nor a social standout. There were, however, two areas in which he excelled. The first was his ability to listen to patients…

  • “The Grasshopper” by Chekhov: folly and regrets

    Diphtheria in the days of writers such as Chekhov and Goncharov was a common disease that spread death and devastation across the wide expanse of the Russian Empire. It could kill its victims by its toxic effects on the heart but more often suffocated them with a grayish white membrane in their throat and nasal…

  • Placebo effect or care effect? Four examples from the literary world

    Pekka Louhiala Raimo Puustinen Finland   It is common knowledge that patients may exhibit improvement following an encounter in which no specific drugs or effective medications were prescribed. Indeed, even fictional doctors have often been depicted as knowing that their patients may require no active drugs and that their mere presence, their advice and encouragement,…

  • Anton Chekhov and the Sakhalin Penal Colony

    Michael BloorUnited Kingdom In the nineteenth century the Czarist Government wanted to create an Arctic Australia by establishing a penal colony on Sakhalin Island, off the eastern coast of Siberia some five thousand miles from European Russia. There convicts who had served out their sentences would be obliged to stay as settlers, albeit in a…

  • Connecting literature with medicine

    Rubina Naqvi Karachi, Pakistan   Portrait of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, 1898 Osip Braz Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow There is a need for increasing the education of medical students through the use of literature, so that physicians can become knowledgeable about and eager to confront the social, economic, and cultural contributors to illness. This is particularly important…

  • Suffering and empathy in the stories of Anton Chekhov and their relevance to healthcare today

    Peter McCannLondon  Throughout his life, Anton Chekhov was often faced with the reality of suffering in human existence. His family’s bankruptcy and life of poverty in Moscow influenced young Anton’s thoughts about suffering and degradation in society, and his brief period of medical practice in Moscow provided him with enough experience to write over 150…