Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Fall 2022

  • Clinical signs in images of King Henry VII

    Stephen MartinDurham, United Kingdom Westminster Abbey has a superb effigy that was made for the funeral of King Henry VII. (Fig 1) Henry, born in 1457 and deceased in 1509, was famous for defeating Richard III in the Wars of the Roses. The effigy has such breathtaking detail that it was probably made from a…

  • Clausewitz’s death: Cholera and melancholy

    Nicolas Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Carl von Clausewitz. Via Wikimedia. “Sollte mich ein früher Tod in dieser Arbeit unterbrechen” (“If an early death should terminate my work”) — Carl von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege   Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz (1780–1831) was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the psychological and political aspects…

  • 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…

  • St. Fabiola and her hospital

    In about AD 380, a wealthy patrician matron gave money for a hospital to be built in Portus, the ancient port of Rome. This hospital was one of the first of its kind in the western part of the Roman empire, designed to provide care for the multitude of poor people living in the capital.…

  • White Australia: How white healthcare has affected Indigenous Australians

    Brittany Suann Western Australia   Rural Australia. Photo by author. Australian healthcare is among the best, and Australia boasts the eighth lowest mortality rates in the world.1 For Indigenous Australians, however, health outcomes are 2.3 times worse than for non-Indigenous Australians.1 This gap is stark and is evident in mortality rates, the life expectancy at…

  • Dictator on the couch: The only known psychological treatment of Adolf Hitler

    Robert M. Kaplan Australia   Top: Hitler in Landsberg Prison common room with (from left) Hess, Herman Kriebel, Fobke and Dr. Friedrich Weber. Chronicle / Alamy Stock Photo. Bottom: Landsberg Prison for War Criminals, 1933. Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / Alamy Stock Photo. It is perhaps not widely known that Adolf Hitler, one of the most…

  • Doctors’ husbands

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe The stereotypical image of the “medical couple” is changing: it is no longer the doctor-husband and his nonphysician-wife. This change is permanent and will accelerate, since 60% of American medical students1 and 54% of physicians2 are women. Eighty percent…

  • Wilson on the couch: How Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt, an American diplomat, came to analyze the American president

    James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Thomas Woodrow Wilson. Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. In December 1966, Houghton Mifflin Company published Thomas Woodrow Wilson: Twenty-Eighth President of the United States, A Psychological Study by Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt. The curious fact that Sigmund Freud, the…

  • The two Scottish doctors John Brown

    Left: John Brown (1735–1788). US National Archives. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Right: John Brown (1810–1882). Wellcome Collection via Wikimedia. CC BY 4.0.   There were two John Brown physicians of note in Scotland, sometimes confused with one another and for practical purposes identified by the date of their birth. The older John Brown was born…

  • Compassion in the emergency room

    Raymond Bellis Stony Brook, New York, United States     Photo by JacksonDavid on Pixabay. Yet another shift in the Emergency Department—between the frenzied rush of staff, the constant pinging of monitors, and the chaotic overhead announcements, I didn’t find the environment particularly conducive to healing. But as a dedicated student in my third year…