Tag Archives: Fall 2019

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 […]

Eugenics: historic and contemporary

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Moral judgments, changing ethical criteria, and the broader concepts of good and evil are always controversial, and often dangerous. Prominent amongst such judgments are those relating to population control and the wider, ill-defined field of eugenics. Hidden, and often ignored or denied in these conversations, is the underlying […]

Avant garde research on a blood substitute at the Hektoen Institute of Medical Research

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   From Left to Right: Gerald S Moss MD, Richard Brinkman MD, Lakshman Sehgal PhD, Robert Forest DVM. June 1975, photograph of the team with the first baboon resuscitated with stroma free hemoglobin after being bled down to a hemoglobin concentration of zero. Photo taken by the author. The […]

Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake, first British woman doctor

Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake (1840-1912) was a rebellious child from the very start, “fresh, willful, and naughty.”1 She attended Queen’s College in London over the objection of her very conservative father, who upon graduation allowed her to take up a position as a mathematics tutor only if she did not take a salary (1859). After teaching […]

Mary Putnam Jacobi, advocate for women in society and medicine

Mary Corinna Putnam Jacobi (1842-1906) was born in London to American parents. She spent her childhood and adolescence in New York, where she studied pharmacy before receiving her medical degree in Philadelphia in 1861. In 1866, after briefly working in Boston with Marie Zakrzewska,1 she went to Paris to further her medical training. Back in New […]

Battle of Gettysburg

Reed Brockway Bontecou (1824-1907) was an American surgeon from Troy, New York, who in 1846 made a trip up the Amazon river to collect flora and fauna for the local natural history museum, and whose surgical feats include the first successful ligation of a traumatic aneurysm of the axillary artery in America (1857) and the […]

William Bell: photographed injured veterans

William Bell was a veteran of the American Civil War who fought at Antietam and Gettysburg, and became chief photographer of the Army Medical Museum in Washington. He took photographs of injured soldiers as part of a project to document the range of injuries among veterans. On the left, the solider is cleverly posed in […]

Georg Bartisch, early Renaissance eye-surgeon

Georg Bartisch (1535–1607) became an apprentice to a barber-surgeon at age thirteen, followed by two additional apprenticeships to an oculist and a lithotomist. He worked as itinerant surgeon in Germany and Bohemia, but eventually become court oculist to Duke Augustus I of Saxony in Dresden. A highly superstitious man, he believed in astronomy and witchcraft, […]

Blood Mnemonics

Chris Arthur St. Andrews, Scotland   Henri Dunant (1828–1910), Swiss philanthropist and “father of the Red Cross.” Source Two photographs in Dunant’s Dream, Caroline Moorehead’s meticulous and moving history of the Red Cross, can be juxtaposed to illustrate a key aspect of this organization’s work. The first shows Henri Dunant, now regarded as “the father […]

Norman Bethune’s mobile blood transfusions

Irving Rosen Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Canadian Blood Transfusion Unit which operated during the Spanish Civil War. Dr. Norman Bethune is at the right. ca. 1936 – 1937 / Spain. From the Library and Archives Canada. Public Domain. Norman Bethune was born in Ontario’s cottage country in 1895 to missionary parents who influenced him to […]