Tag Archives: Doctors Patients and Diseases

Medicine’s pandemonium of paradoxes

Fergus Shanahan Dublin, Ireland “Paradox of Medical Progress” graph by author.   “You live and breathe paradox and contradiction, but you can no more see the beauty of them than the fish can see the beauty of the water.” – Michael Frayn (Bohr to Heisenberg), Copenhagen1   The language of medicine is loaded with misnomers, […]

“Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease”

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Hair loss in child with tinea capitis infection. CDC, 1970. Public domain. Overconfidence is an undesirable quality. It does not enhance a physician’s approach to learning, nor to changing when change is needed. How a doctor diagnoses or treats a condition today may cause future generations of physicians to wonder, […]

The sixtieth anniversary of the “Battered Child Syndrome”

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   An intraparenchymal bleed with overlying skull fracture from abusive head trauma. May 29, 2016. James Heilman, MD, via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. “The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterward.” — Arthur Koestler, novelist and journalist   In 1962, Dr. C. Henry Kempe and colleagues at the […]

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 […]

Humans with tails

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   A human tail. From “Tail-like Formations in Men. After the Researches of Dr. Bartels, Prof. Ecker, Dr. Mohnike, Dr. Ornstein, and Others.” Popular Science Monthly, vol. 40, January 1892. Via Weird Historian. Public domain. “…he had been born and had grown up with a cartilaginous tail in the shape of […]

Wedding anniversary

Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States Woman treating a patient in an intensive care unit. U.S. Government photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden. U.S. Navy Medicine on Rawpixel. Public domain.   Things fall apart; the center cannot hold…and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned… — W. B. Yeats, The […]

Drama in brief

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Winter foliage. Photo by author. Four years earlier I had had the sad duty to announce her debut as a protagonist on the stage of cancer. Now I was witnessing the last act. She came to the first visit with her elder sister, an old acquaintance from our student days […]

Furniture of bones

D. Brendan Johnson Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States   Selvportrett i helvete [Self Portrait in Hell]. Edvard Munch. 1903. Munchmuseet. Via Wikimedia. “Would you like the new patient?” My senior resident offered me the next admission, a patient being stabilized in the emergency department after a suicide attempt. As a fresh medical student in the beginning […]

Learning the meaning of love

Charlotte Eliopoulos Glen Arm, Maryland, United States   Le Typhique. A contagiously ill man asks for the bed-pan; the nurse tells him that it will cost ten sous for the risk. Colour photomechanical reproduction of a lithograph by N. Dorville, c. 1901. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Public Domain In the summer before my senior year in high school, […]

The invisible manager

Javishkar Reddy Johannesburg, South Africa   Photo by meo from Pexels When I was twelve, I was hit on the head by a cricket ball. A few days later, I had my first seizure. Over the years, I have had many attacks, which have resulted in three chipped teeth, a cracked skull, a dislocated shoulder, […]