Tag Archives: Diseases

Walter Russell Brain DM FRCP FRS (1895–1966)

JMS Pearce  East Yorks, England   Lord Brain. From The Royal London Hospital. Source Russell Brain (Fig 1) was born at Clovelly, Denmark Road, Reading, on 23 October 1895, the only son of Walter John Brain, solicitor, and his wife, Edith Alice. A quiet, reserved man of enormous intellect and integrity, he was revered as […]

Not-so-natural history

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Photo by Anthony Papagiannis Physicians learn about chronic disease by watching its natural history and attempting to modify it with therapies. Cardiologists record episodes of ischemic disease, oncologists follow the progression of malignancies, and pulmonologists note changes in respiratory function over time. When patients are first seen, the disease is […]

Thriving in the face of uncertainty

Sally Mather Chris Millard Ian Sabroe Sheffield, England   The experience of uncertainty has appeared as a frequent narrative in articles, autobiographies, and memoirs written by doctors over the last century. A persistent belief that better training, tests, evidence, and pathways will reduce uncertainty has not been borne out in the experience of contemporary clinicians. […]

Great expectations

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Summer Calm—image by the author “Doctor, I want you to treat her as a forty-year old!” What is the appropriate answer to a demand like that from a daughter about the treatment of her eighty-eight-year-old mother? Any suggestion that her mother might not do well even with the best treatment […]

Epidemic encephalitis lethargica

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Table 1. QUARANTINABLE DISEASES Cholera Diphtheria Infectious tuberculosis Plague Smallpox Yellow fever Viral hemorrhagic fevers Severe acute respiratory syndromes Influenza pandemic From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Legal authorities for isolation and quarantine. Source The pandemic Covid-19 infection, first reported from China in December 2019, reminds us […]

Plagues and prejudice

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Honolulu Chinatown fire of 1900. Hawaii State Archives.  It was a calm, clear January morning on the gritty streets of paradise. Honolulu, the capital of the newly-annexed U.S. territory of Hawaii, was ushering out a century of upheaval that had included the arrival of explorers, […]

The paradox of blood donation

Beukou Steve Limbe, South-West Cameroon Team HERO Cameroon organizing 2nd annual blood drive 2019     (Source: NGO HERO CAMEROON) Team HERO Cameroon and voluntary blood donors during blood drive 2019 (Source: NGO  HERO CAMEROON) Exchange visit at the National Blood Transfusion Service in Mauritius 2019 (Source: Association of Commonwealth University Summerschool 2019) “Please I urgently […]

What’s hormones got to do with it? The medicalization of menopause in postwar America

Pavane L. Gorrepati Iowa City, Iowa, USA   An example of one of the many articles and advertisements published during this time in the Ladies’ Home Journal promulgating the use of hormone replacement therapy. Scott, J. (1946, 03). YOU NEED NOT FEAR THE MENOPAUSE. Ladies’ Home Journal, 63, 33-191. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1866674008?accountid=15172 Introduction From menstruation […]

Dialogues of comfort

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Roman copy of a bust of Homer, 2nd century AD, British Museum, London. My patient is a veteran physician, quite advanced in years but mentally lucid and fully aware of his condition. His disease is incurable, and he is in need of a chest aspiration for symptomatic relief of his breathlessness. […]

Flyfishing and medicine

James Stoller Cleveland, Ohio, USA   Photo by Jeff Smith I am one of the many doctors who relish the zen of flyfishing. Standing in a stream, reading the clues for what type of fly to cast and where to cast it, and focusing incessantly on a dry fly drifting lithely to entice a hungry […]