Tag Archives: Germany

Book Review of A Place in History: The biography of John C. Kendrew

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: A Place in History: The biography of John C. Kendrew. Remarkable scientific advances in the twentieth century were also crucial for the field of medicine. In the new field of molecular biology, for example, scientists applied the principles of physics and chemistry to elucidate the structure of […]

Oswaldo Cruz and the eradication of infectious diseases in Brazil

Robert Perlman Chicago, Illinois, United States   Photo of buildings on Rue Oswaldo-Cruz, a street in Paris named after the physician. Photo from Wikimedia by user CVB. CC BY-SA 4.0 In 1899, an epidemic of bubonic plague caused a crisis in the Brazilian port city of Santos. Ship captains were angry that their boats had […]

The wayward Paracelsus

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Fig 1. Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus von Hohenheim (Paracelsus). Via Wikimedia. Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest Let no man be another’s who can be himself Paracelsus 1552   Paracelsus was the most original, controversial character of the Renaissance,1 who brazenly questioned and condemned the dictates of Galen and […]

Medical and other memories of the Cold War and its Iron Curtain

Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe  Dundee, Scotland, UK   Iron Curtain as described by Churchill 1946. Edited from original. Original by BigSteve via Wikimedia. (CC BY 1.0) In 1946, Winston Churchill named the political barrier appearing between the Soviet bloc and the West the “Iron Curtain.” It lasted until 1991. I met or crossed it several times. The […]

Too many doctors: the death of Friedrich III

Nicolas Roberto Robles  Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Kaiser Friedrich Museum (currently Bode Museum) on the Monbijou Bridge in Berlin, 1905. Public domain. Via Wikimedia Un médico cura; dos, dudan; tres, muerte segura. One doctor, health; two, doubt; three, certain death. -Spanish saying.   Friedrich III of Hohenzollern was the second Kaiser of Germany and […]

Nazi doctors and medical eponyms

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Special Children’s Ward” Vienna Am Spiegelgrund. Source. The tradition in medicine has been to name a pathological condition after the person who first described it in the medical literature. Thus we have Addison’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and several hundred others. The tendency now is to eliminate the possessive,1 giving Addison […]

William Marsden, surgeon and founder of the Royal Free and Royal Marsden Hospitals, London

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Portrait of William Marsden by Thomas Illidge 1850. Picture in public domain. Source To found one hospital is a fairly unusual achievement; to found two is a rare feat indeed. William Marsden, a nineteenth-century British doctor, founded both the Royal Free Hospital and the Royal Cancer Hospital (now known […]

Book review: A Time for All Things. The Life of Michael E. DeBakey by Craig Miller

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Cover of A Time for All Things. The Life of Michael E. DeBakey by Craig A. Miller In the latter half of the twentieth century, Michael DeBakey was a worldwide household name, a remarkable feat for a surgeon in the days before the cult of celebrity had become part of […]

Heinrich Heine and the mattress tomb

Nicolás Roberto Robles  Badajoz, Spain   Harry Heine was born in Bolkerstrasse, Düsseldorf, Germany. He jokingly described himself as the “first man of the century,” claiming that he had been born on New Year’s Eve 1800. Researchers have discovered, however, that December 13, 1797, is most likely the date of his birth. The oldest of […]

Richard J. Bing: reflecting on a century of creativity and innovation

Joseph Burns Yehuda Shapir New Hyde Park, New York, United States   [Richard J. Bing, M.D.] 1975. National Library of Medicine. As the tenth anniversary of the passing of Dr. Richard J. Bing approaches, the occasion offers an opportune moment to reflect on the life and momentous achievements of an eminent cardiologist. Richard J. Bing […]