Tag Archives: England

Some Dickensian diagnoses

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Charles Dickens Lithograph by Sol Eytinge,1867, from Dickens and His Illustrators. Internet Archive. Public domain. What a gain it would have been to physic if one so keen to observe and facile to describe had devoted his powers to the medical art. – British Medical Journal obituary, 1870 […]

Huntington’s chorea

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. George Huntington’s 1872 paper “On Chorea.” In the history of medicine, few writers can have received a finer accolade than that bestowed by William Osler on George Huntington. Osler commented: “In the whole range of descriptive nosology there is not to my knowledge, an instance in which a […]

Wernicke-Korsakoff encephalopathy: A historical note

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Wernicke’s Lehrbuch der Gehirnkrankheiten. Internet Archive. Public domain. Before Sergei Sergeivich Korsakoff described the psychosis that bears his name, Carl Wernicke reported a closely related and often coexistent syndrome. It is variously named Wernicke-Korsakoff encephalopathy, syndrome, or psychosis. Two more different personalities would be hard to imagine.   […]

Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield: Inventor of the CT scanner

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, England   Godfrey Hounsfield. US National Library of Medicine. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. The name Godfrey Hounsfield is not familiar to most healthcare professionals, yet his invention of the CT (Computerized Tomography) scanner is one of the greatest radiological advances since Röntgen discovered X-rays in 1895. Nearly all modern hospitals have […]

It always comes down to medicine

Matthew Turner Washington, United States   Blackbeard the Pirate. Published as “Capt. Teach alias Black-Beard” in A General History of the Lives and Adventures of the Most Famous Highwaymen, Murderers, Street-Robbers, &c. to which is added, a genuine account of the voyages and plunders of the most notorious pyrates. Interspersed with several diverting tales, and […]

John Walker, vaccinator extraordinaire

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Medicine has bred many odd but audacious characters, eccentrics, polymaths and “truants.” One might argue that those characteristics attracted such people to careers in medicine: a chicken and egg dilemma. Conversely, some have argued that modern regulated uniformity has infected medicine and stultified originality. A little-known medical eccentric and heretic […]

Walter Edward Dandy

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Figure 1. Walter Edward Dandy (left) and Harvey Cushing (right). Dandy from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions Portrait Collection.2 In the history of American neurosurgery, two names stand out from the rest: Harvey Cushing (1869–1939) and Walter Edward Dandy (1886–1946). Sadly, they were inveterate rivals. Dandy was undoubtedly a brilliant pioneer […]

William Blake

JMS Pearce Hull, England   William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.   William Blake (1757–1827) (Fig 1) was and still is an enigma. He was born on November 28, 1757, one of seven children to James, a hosier, and Catherine Wright Blake at 28 Broad Street in London.1 He once remarked: “Thank God […]

Denis Parsons Burkitt

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. 7-year-old boy with Burkitt’s lymphoma involving his right mandible (A) before treatment and (B) after treatment by Burkitt.3   Aphorisms from wise medical men and women have fallen out of fashion. Because each line is to a degree debatable, one of my favorites is: Attitudes are more important […]

Early surgery of meningocele

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Figure 1. Spinal dysraphism. c. AD 200. From Goodrich, J.T.1 A variety of dysraphic states, recorded since antiquity, (Fig 1)1 are caused by the failed closure of the neural tube during the fourth week of embryonic life. They include hydrocephalus, Chiari malformations, and various types of spina bifida with meningocele […]