Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Cook County Hospital

  • Nicholas Senn, the great master of abdominal surgery

    Nicholas Senn was a man with an extraordinary capacity for work, an innovator, always trying new methods, even new experiments that he first conducted on himself. Born in 1844 in St. Gaul, Switzerland, he came to America when he was eight years old. His family settled in Ashford, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, then at…

  • 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 in…

  • Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie: William James Mayo, (1861-1938) and Charles Horace Mayo (1865-1939)

    John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Portrait of William Worrell Mayo and his sons: Charles Mayo (right) and William James Mayo (left). Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) The father of the Mayo brothers, William Worall Mayo, was born in a village near Manchester, England, in 1819. His father died when…

  • From Baghdad to Chicago by Asad A. Bakir

    The title of Dr. Bakir’s erudite and engaging book brings to mind another book with a similar title. It is From Bagdad to Stambul (1892), one of the series of adventures that places its heroes in the city where Dr. Bakir was born almost exactly half a century later. The author of these stories was…

  • The surgery of pyloric stenosis in Chicago

    John RaffenspergerFort Meyers, Florida, United States Harald Hirschprung, a Danish pediatrician, in 1888 described the clinical course and pathology of two infants who died with congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis.1 Gastroenterostomy was adopted for the treatment of infants with pyloric stenosis, but surgical treatments were hampered by delayed diagnosis, malnutrition, and a lack of knowledge about…

  • Unlikely pioneers in renal transplantation: The Little Company of Mary Sisters

    Jayant RadhakrishnanDarien, Illinois, United States Dr. Joseph Murray deservedly received the Nobel Prize in 1990 for his magnificent pioneering work in the field of renal transplantation.1 However, it is not widely known that religious sisters from the congregation of the Little Company of Mary also deserve much credit for their support of renal transplantation in…

  • A history of blood transfusion: A confluence of science—in peace, in war, and in the laboratory

    Kevin R. LoughlinBoston, Massachusetts The rudimentary lights provided only dim illumination of the operative field. The three British army surgeons worked feverishly to save the life of the young soldier, Corporal Smith, who had a significant liver injury. He had already lost a liter of blood during transport from the front. As the surgeons continued…

  • Becoming a doctor in Chicago (c. 1954)—Clerkship at Cook County Hospital

    Peter H. BerczellerEdited by Paul Berczeller An excerpt from Dr. Peter Berczeller’s memoir, The Little White Coat. Ward 64, the only female medical ward at Cook County Hospital, was to be the home base for daily meetings of our group of five with the instructor assigned to us. Our space—immediately next door to the patients’ toilet—was…

  • Becoming a doctor in Chicago (c. 1954)—The Chicago Medical School

    Peter BerczellerEdited by Paul Berczeller An excerpt from Dr. Peter Berczeller’s memoir, The Little White Coat. Chicago Med was the poor relation among the medical schools ringing Cook County Hospital. The sooty three-story building was dwarfed by the high rises of the Rush and Illinois medical schools close by. Though its building was no taller…

  • Where the unusual was usual: The Cook County Hospital blood bank

    Jayant RadhakrishnanChicago, Illinois, United States There are those who claim that the first blood collection and transfusion services were started by Percy Oliver of the Camberwell Division of the British Red Cross in 19211 and not by Dr. Bernard Fantus at the Cook County Hospital, Chicago in 1937. However, everyone agrees that the term “Blood…