Tag Archives: Chicago

Did Ernest Hemingway have the Celtic curse?

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1954. GPA Photo Archive. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0 Considering Ernest Hemingway’s mishaps before he died in 1961 by a self-inflicted shotgun wound, it is surprising that he lived so long. He survived two plane crashes several days apart that left […]

The death of James Abram Garfield

Philip Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   James Abram Garfield. By Ole Peter Hansen Balling. 1881. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Public Domain. The medical treatment of some US presidents and ex-presidents has been controversial. One example is George Washington, who in 1799 at age sixty-seven suffered from an acute throat ailment that was treated […]

When needs trumped faith and dogma: early twentieth century Los Angeles women’s social conscience

Saty Satya-Murti Santa Maria, California, United States Michael Engh Los Angeles, California, United States   Fig 1. Los Angeles Population Growth shown in a promotional pamphlet from 1915. From: Abbott, James W. Among cities Los Angeles is the world’s greatest wonder–Why?. [Los Angeles, The Cadmus press, 1915] Source: The Library of Congress. In early twentieth […]

The wonderful world of vaccines

Jayant Radhakrishnan Chicago, Illinois, United States   A patient with his whole body covered with smallpox lesions. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, photo by Barbara Rice. Epidemics and pandemics became an issue about 10,000 years ago when hunters and gatherers became farmers and began to live in communities. Smallpox was one of the first […]

A bad taste in the mouth: over fifty years of doubt about MSG

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   A Chinese Food Storefront in New York, NY. Photo by Jkusachi. June 2019. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. Monosodium glutamate’s bad reputation started with one letter to the New England Journal of Medicine. From there, the truth was confused by misinformation and prejudice. Dr. Robert Ho Man Kwok […]

Tutorial for surgeons by Lawrence Peter Berra

Jayant Radhakrishnan Chicago, Illinois, United States   The above photograph is from the archives of the Cook County Hospital when it closed. It was taken in the amphitheater in the main building. Autopsies were an indispensable part of surgical learning in the past. In this photograph two autopsies are being carried out simultaneously. The year […]

COVID-19 and 1665: learning from Daniel Defoe

Brian Birch Southampton, Hampshire, UK   London plague victims being buried in 1665, one of nine scenes from John Dunstall’s Plague broadsheet (1666). Credit: Wellcome Collection.  (CC BY 4.0) Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year is an account of the 1665 Great Plague of London. Based on eyewitness experience, the undersigned initials “H. F.” […]

Oswaldo Cruz and the eradication of infectious diseases in Brazil

Robert Perlman Chicago, Illinois, United States   Photo of buildings on Rue Oswaldo-Cruz, a street in Paris named after the physician. Photo from Wikimedia by user CVB. CC BY-SA 4.0 In 1899, an epidemic of bubonic plague caused a crisis in the Brazilian port city of Santos. Ship captains were angry that their boats had […]

Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman

Tonse N. K. Raju Gaithersburg, MD, United States   Figure 1. Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman; Reproduced with permission, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN On March 15, 2021, the United States Senate confirmed Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), a member of the Laguna Pueblo Tribal Nation, as Secretary of the Department of Interior. This historic action […]

Omentum: much more than “policeman of the abdomen”

Ashok Singh Chicago, Illinois, United States   Histology of activated omentum 3 days after placing a 5 cc slurry of inert polydextran particles of approx. 100 micron diameter (1 million particles) in the abdominal cavity of rats. Note the dramatic change in the size and quality of the omentum. While the native omentum is fatty […]