Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Fall 2018

  • Chemo room

    Sarah SmithPike Road, Alabama, United States Cancer makes me glad I am fat. Mr. Weiss, two chairs down from Jack and me today, does not agree. Two months ago, Mr. Weiss tried to convince me of the importance of keeping in shape and maintaining a healthy weight. As though I did not know these things. He assumes…

  • The brief and strange history of mesmerism and surgery

    Tyler Rouse Stratford, Ontario, Canada   A Practitioner of Mesmerism using Animal Magnetism Wood engraving. Mesmer, Franz Anton 1734-1815. Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 4.0. The modern era of surgery is often thought to have begun with the introduction of ether, allowing surgeons to operate on insensible patients, and do more than ever before.…

  • John Keats – One whose name was writ in water

    John Keats, one of the great poets of all times, was born near Moorgate in London in 1795. His father was an inn stable keeper (an ostler), who one night fell off a horse and fatally fractured his skull, leaving his family somewhat impecunious.1 John, sibling of four, was far from a model pupil in…

  • Where am I when my digital footprint persists indefinitely?

    Naomi Rachel OldhamWest London, United Kingdom Our digital selves remain present in the world even after we have died. Social media and email accounts, websites to which we have subscribed, photos, videos, and voice messages persist after death. What might this mean when considering an individual’s presence or absence in the world? Throughout different periods…

  • I tried to write a dementia poem

    Mac Greene Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   I tried to write… Did I tell you already? About the softball team on my first job, and I left my mitt on the front seat of my 1965 Chevy pickup that I sold for a hundred fifty dollars in Rappahannock County, with the ball in the pocket…

  • A man with a psychotic disorder by Diego Velazquez

    Fernando ForcénChicago, Illinois, United States During the modern era, kings employed jesters for the entertainment of monarchs and their guests. These jesters were often people with mental illnesses or congenital metabolic diseases. They were payed for their services and often lived in the royal household. There, they amused the royal family and other members such…

  • A mother and a doctor

    Michelle Kittleson Los Angeles, California, USA   Fourteen years to become a cardiologist: Medical school, residency, fellowship training Is easy, for the resilient — and the optimists. One shift after another can be draining, Though the path is clear and predictable, So the key is stamina, a matter of maintaining. Mother and Child Henry Essenhigh…

  • Francesco Antommarchi, the Malvolio of St. Helena

    Francesco Carlo Antommarchi (1780–1838) was a man of dubious character who served as Napoleon’s physician on the island of St. Helena from 1818 until his death in 1821. He began his education in Livorno, Italy, then in Pisa and Florence, graduating with a degree in surgery in 1812. For the next six years he practiced…

  • Mary Tudor (“Bloody Mary”) 1516–1558

    During her relatively short life, the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon had a rough time. After her mother’s marriage was annulled, she was not allowed to see her and was declared illegitimate. Her father would have nothing to do with her and once even threatened to execute her if she did not…

  • Islamic medicine

    During the expansion of the Empire of Islam and its ensuing Golden Age, physicians from Spain to Samarkand advanced the medical sciences by reviving existing Greek medicine and adding their own innovations.1 There were many prominent physicians, dating back to the days of the Prophet himself. Often associated with hospitals or schools of pharmacy, some…