Tag Archives: Fall 2022

Hemiplegic migraine, the monster

Ceres Alhelí Otero Peniche Mexico City, Mexico   Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell. Oil on canvas, c. 1831–1840. National Portrait Gallery, London, NPG 1235. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. The authors of great literary works allow their readers to enter into the very precincts of their imaginations, leading them to the most fantastical places they could have […]

Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Baghdad physician and polymath

Iluminure from the Hunayn ibn-Ishaq al-‘Ibadi manuscript of the Isagoge. Via Wikimedia. Arabic translation of Euclid’s Elements, 1270, by Ishaq Ibn Hunayn, a translator like his father before him. Google Arts and Culture. Via Wikimedia. Diagram of the eye by Hunayn ibn Ishaq. Cheshm manuscript, c. AD 1200. Cairo National Library. Via Wikimedia.   Hunayn […]

Margery Kempe: Medieval visions, delusions, and hallucinations

Margery Kempe (c. 1393 – after 1438) was an English Christian mystic who dictated autobiographic notes to a scribe. Married when twenty years old, she had a postpartum psychotic episode after the birth of her first child and went through at least fourteen subsequent pregnancies. Psychotic symptoms, delusions, and hallucinations continued all her life. She had […]

Gently, Doctor, tell me what you see

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Girl with a Hand Mirror. William McGregor Paxton, 1915. Courtesy of the Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania. In order to emphasize the role of the arts when teaching the humanities in medicine, I have often taken medical students, residents, and doctors to art museums to develop the art […]

Interpreting René Magritte’s The Rape

Mirjana Stojkovic-Ivkovic Belgrade, Serbia   The Rape. Oil painting by René Magritte, 1934. Menil Collection, Houston, TX, via Wikiart. Fair use. When exhibited by René Magritte in Brussels in 1930, The Rape was covered with a curtain so as not to cause a scandal. It depicts a woman’s face which, instead of eyes, nose, and […]

Palo Seco: A leper colony in Panama

Enrique Chaves-Carballo Overland Park, Kansas   Fig 1. Indian 50 paisa stamp shows Armauer Hansen at work in his laboratory. Via Wikimedia. Copyright Post of India, licensed under the Government Open Data License. The history of leprosy goes back to antiquity and is replete with unscientific prejudices, including the belief that the disease was highly […]

The adenoid riots of 1906

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Sagittal section of nose mouth, pharynx, and larynx showing the adenoids, or pharyngeal tonsils (in green). Not to be confused with the tonsils in the back of the throat. From Grays Anatomy, 20th edition. Bartleby via Wikimedia. Public domain. On June 28, 1906, thousands of Eastern European Jewish women surrounded […]

Faith in medicine

Tyler Beauchamp Augusta, Georgia, United States    Photo by Sven Piper on Unsplash. When I was in college, I worked for a nursing unit in the trauma ward. One patient had been in a horrible car accident and barely survived. I visited her for the better part of two weeks before she began to improve. […]

The Joys of Motherhood: The classic Nigerian novel

Oyenike Ilaka Albany, New York   Cover of The Joys of Motherhood, published in London, UK, by Allison & Busby in 1979.2 The Joys of Motherhood is a Nigerian novel written by Buchi Emecheta in 1979. Emecheta was a Nigerian woman from the Igbo tribe. Born in 1944, she spent her childhood in Lagos. At […]

Diocles of Carystus

Diocles of Carystus (probably 375–300 BC), also known as Diocles Medicus, came from the island of Euboea but is remembered as a resident of Athens. He wrote on animal anatomy, dietetics, physiology, embryology, and medical botany, but only fragments of his writings survive. His work on anatomy may have been the first of its kind […]