Tag Archives: Chicago

Orion H. Stuteville: a surgeon’s surgeon

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States Bangalore Jayaram Mysuru, Karnataka, India   There is no controversy that Hera became angry at Tiresias and turned him into a woman. However, there are two versions of the cause of her anger. It was either because Tiresias struck a couple of copulating snakes or because he sided with […]

Metastatic sarcoma

Tulsi Patel Chicago, Illinois, United States   His big regret was never building his son a trampoline, now locked away in the shed like some treasure chest he can’t open. Eyes welling up, he says to me proudly, resignedly “16 tumors” before he coughs up a river of rotten red roses. A Foot Bridge, North […]

“For their own sakes”: The Edinburgh Seven, Surgeon’s Hall Riot, and the fate of English medical women

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Surgeons’ Hall, Edinburgh. Photograph of engraving in the 1890 edition of Cassell’s Old and New Edinburgh by James Grant. Photo by Peter Stubbs. Via Wikimedia. “There seems to be practically no doubt now that women are and will be doctors. The only question really remaining is, how thoroughly […]

Alexis Carrel: the sunshine and the shadow

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Alexis Carrel. Unknown photographer. 1912. From Popular Science Monthly Volume 81, on the Internet Archive. Via Wikimedia. Dr. Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) was as complex as his glass perfusion pump apparatus. A brilliant research surgeon, he won the Nobel Prize in Medicine before his fortieth birthday for his […]

Dr. Aufderheide and the mummies

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Curator for the Department of Physical Anthropology at the San Diego Museum of Man prepares a 550-year old Peruvian child mummy for a CT scan. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samantha A. Lewis/Released). Via Wikimedia. Public Domain. Paleopathology, the study of early animal […]

Beloved physicians: three unsung heroes

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Illustration by J. Raffensperger Few doctors, especially those who practice in small communities across the land, are remembered for their selfless, unstinting devotion to their patients. They are not considered heroes in the usual sense and sadly, for the most part, are now replaced by dehumanizing corporate […]

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 […]