Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: chemistry

  • A wider science

    Ahmad Shakeri Howsikan Kugathasan Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Storytelling helps healthcare workers learn about the person, not just the patient. Once Upon a Time, by George Hodan. Source Working at a Toronto harm reduction clinic helped reconcile my different points of view on drug addiction. In the classroom, I was a progressive-minded graduate student willing to…

  • Irvine H. Page, M.D. (1901–1991)

    Earl SmithChicago, Illinois, United States Irvine Page was a physician scientist who discovered angiotensin and serotonin and proposed the multifactorial etiology of hypertension. He was a prolific medical writer and was instrumental in establishing what is now the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Page initially intended to become a chemist. Following his graduation from Cornell…

  • Blood and pernicious anemia

    Omar AlzarkaliBatavia, New York, United States Blood is powerful. The mere sight of it can cause an adult to fall to the ground; as a medical student, I have seen it happen. Faces go pale and legs can no longer carry their weight as they succumb to this primitive reflex. Perhaps this vasovagal response happens…

  • Litmus paper and other pH indicators

    To many a physician the word litmus brings back unpleasant memories from medical school, something to do with Bunsen burners, incomprehensible lectures on acid-base balance, or experiments going wrong and exploding in the chemistry lab. Litmus itself is a mixture of organic substances obtained from lichens and used as an acid-base indicator—even in nature, such…

  • Bosch’s Stone Operation: Meaning, medicine, and morality

    Laurinda DixonNew York, United States The Stone Operation (fig. 1) (ca. 1488 or later), also known as The Cure of Folly, by the Dutch fifteenth-century painter Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1450-1516), is, like all of his works, bizarre and incomprehensible by modern standards of reality.1 The painting depicts a surgeon, dressed in the characteristic reddish robe…