Tag Archives: Essays

Emily, Usher, and American Gothic perspectives on mortality

Olga Reykhart Liam Butchart Stony Brook, New York, United States   1894-1895 Illustration by Aubrey Beardsley of the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe. Accessed via Wikimedia. In an editorial for Medical Humanities, Gillie Bolton notes that death is a common theme in literature and also in medicine. […]

Review of: Health Humanities in Postgraduate Medical Education: A Handbook to the Heart of Medicine

J.T.H. Connor St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada   Health Humanities in Postgraduate Medical Education cover. Source Review of Allan D. Peterkin and Anna Skorzewska, eds., Health Humanities in Postgraduate Medical Education: A Handbook to the Heart of Medicine (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018) The backbone of this innovative and informative collection is comprised of eleven essays […]

A birth remembered

F. Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. The Birth of Benjamin and the Death of Rachel, by Francesco Furini (1600 or 1603-1646). Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Memory is to old age as presbyopia (far-sightedness) is to eyesight. Presbyopia makes you lose the ability to see clearly at a normal near […]

Ferdinand Sauerbruch, father of thoracic surgery

Annabelle Slingerland Leon Lacquet Leiden, the Netherlands   Ferndinand Sauerbruch at a medical lecture at the University of Zurich, between 1910 and 1917. Source unknown. Accessed via Wikimedia commons. Source Ferdinand Sauerbruch (1875-1951) was one of the most important thoracic surgeons of the first half of the twentieth century, remembered for pioneering a method that […]

Of luxuriant manes and in praise of baldness

Frank Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Voltaire rising from bed (Le Lever du Philosophe de Fer***X), by Jean Huber (1721-1786), after a painting by the same artist. Print acquired by the British Museum in 1861. The feverish imagination of poets has ever eulogized the beauty of feminine hair. The beloved’s hair has […]

African American medical pioneers

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   The road for African Americans in the medical professions has not been easy. Enslaved Africans received no education.1 During the first half of the nineteenth-century medical schools in the North would admit only a very small number of black students. Even after the Civil War, African Americans continued […]

Changes in childbirth in the United States: 1750–1950

Laura Kaplan New York, New York, United States   American pioneer birth scene, 1887 Gustave Joseph Witkowski Wood print From Histoire des accouchements chez tous les peuples For most of American history, pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post-partum have been dangerous periods for mother and child. However, starting slowly in the late 18th century and […]