Tag Archives: George Dunea

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, apostle of women’s liberation

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote much about the state of women in society, publishing the still widely acclaimed short story, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892). She also wrote other essays, somewhat colored by her own life experiences. Her father had left his family when she and her brother were […]

Byzantine physicians

Greek physicians dominated medicine for almost two thousand years, beginning with the school of Hippocrates, of Herophilus and Erasistratus in Alexandria, and continuing after the Roman conquest. Celsus and Galen were in Rome; Dioscorides was in the Roman army during the reign of the Emperor Nero. Aretaeus of Cappadocia practiced sometime during the second century. […]

The ligament of Vaclav Treitz

Vaclav Treitz (1819-1872) was born in Bohemia, studied humanities at the Charles University in Prague, and obtained his medical degree there in 1846. He then furthered his education at the New or Second Vienna School under the great luminaries of the time, Karl Rokitansky, Joseph Skoda, and Ferdinand von Hebra. He specifically worked in anatomy […]

Jacarandas- a dream

In the year when the Olympic Games were held in Australia, the Jacarandas were in full bloom and their blue blossoms wafted through the air. At the Olympic campus an English boy and an Australian girl fell in love. Every night they would be seen walking through the cool air holding hands. Sometimes they went […]

The tooth pullers

    Gerrit Van Honthorst, 1628, Louvre, Paris. Jan Victors, ca. 1650 M.d Bildenden Kunst, Leipzig. Jan Steen, ca. 1650 check, Mauritshuis, The Hague.  Gerrit Dou, 1630-35, Louvre, Paris.   Having a tooth pulled in the days before the advent of modern anesthesia and dental techniques could turn out to be a pretty ghastly experience. […]

Jan Steen: quack doctors visit lovesick maidens

Like his contemporary Molière, the Dutchman Jan Steen makes fun of quack doctors, often shown in ridiculous costumes visiting young love-sick or pregnant women. In the Lovesick Maiden (Fig.1, Metropolitan Museum) the diagnosis is suggested by the painting of a Cupid above the door, the bed on the right, and the bed-warmer on the lower […]

Giorgio Baglivi, a leading physician of his time

  Giorgio Baglivi (1668-1707) contributed much to our understanding of muscle structure and function, as well as publishing classic descriptions of pulmonary edema and other disorders. Born Duro Armeno in the Republic of Ragusa (now Dubrovnik), he was probably of Armenian descent. His parents dying when he was young, he left for southern Italy, where […]

Loyal Davis, legendary neurosurgeon (1896-1982)

  For more than thirty years, in an era less politically correct than ours, Dr. Loyal Davis reigned supreme as chief of surgery at the Northwestern University medical school in Chicago. He retired in 1963, but stories about him persisted as lively subjects of conversation and amusement, to be told with relish at meetings and […]

Robert M. Kark (1911-2002)

In the 1950’s, Robert Kark and his team of Robert C. Muehrcke, Victor Pollak, and Conrad Pirani became, for a short time, the dominant force in American nephrology by popularizing the use of kidney biopsy as a diagnostic tool. This technique had first been described by Scandinavian investigators with somewhat limited success, but the Kark team […]

Through the magic door with Conan Doyle

“Father said it used to be a gentleman was known by his books.” — William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury   You are invited, gentle reader, to walk through the magic door and step into the library. Smoking is allowed, says your host, as he invites you to sit on the green settee from […]