Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Germany

  • From silks to science: The history of hematoxylin and eosin staining

    Vidhi Naik Aberdeen, Scotland   A slice of logwood, notably depicting its deeply colored heartwood, atop different fabrics stained by logwood dye. Image obtained and published with permission from Botanical Colors. Introduction Hematoxylin and eosin, dyes used to stain tissue samples, collectively known as H&E, form the benchmark for histological stains. These dyes possess a…

  • America’s first bronchoscopist

    J. Gordon Frierson Palo Alto, California, United States   Autographed portrait of Chevalier Jackson. Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. One day, in the tough coal-mining city of Pittsburgh of the early 1900s, two Sisters of Mercy brought an emaciated, severely dehydrated, seven-year-old girl to a doctor’s office. Sometime earlier the girl had swallowed lye, thinking…

  • Dancing with spiders: tarantellas and tarantism

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “There are always hysterical people undergoing extraordinary cures.” – Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man Etching of people dancing the tarantella and playing music as an antidote to a tarantula bite. Wellcome Collection. Public domain.   The industrial city of Taranto is in the “heel” of boot-shaped Italy. The Romans called…

  • Dr. Jochem Hoyer’s singular act of altruism

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’”— Martin Luther King, Jr. Kidney transplantation is the preferred form of treatment for chronic, permanent renal failure. Transplanted patients have better long-term survival than patients receiving repeated hemodialysis. There is, unfortunately, a shortage of usable kidneys worldwide. In the…

  • The sixtieth anniversary of the “Battered Child Syndrome”

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterward.”— Arthur Koestler, novelist and journalist In 1962, Dr. C. Henry Kempe and colleagues at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver published their groundbreaking article, “The Battered Child Syndrome,” in the Journal of the American Medical Association.1 The article…

  • The good, the bad, and the regrettable

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Man . . . cannot learn to forget, but hangs on the past: however far or fast he runs, that chain runs with him.”— Frederick Nietzsche What follows is a description of different aspects of studying medicine at an old, highly regarded Catholic university in Europe a half-century ago. The Good For…

  • Medical tourism

    Kozlova Liudmyla Mykolaiv, Ukraine Doctor with stethoscope and globe in his hand. Photo by Jernej Furman. Via Flickr. CC BY 2.0. Medical tourism is a highly profitable industry that offers a range of medical procedures, highly specialized medical services, and tourism opportunities. It combines travel for health and medical services with recreational tourism. While on…

  • A drawing created during World War I

    Tilman Sauerbruch Bonn, Germany   Fig 1. Portrait-drawing of the of the surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch by Max Beckmann 1915 at the frontline during World War I (private collection). A photograph of a drawing by Max Beckmann (1884-1950) of the surgeon Ferdinand Sauerbruch (1875-1951) has been hanging in my room since my student days (Fig. 1).…

  • Women surgeons

    Moustapha Abousamra Ventura, California, United States   Cactus flower with buds.Image courtesy of the author. Last spring, I spent three months in the Texas Hill Country. It is a place that at once can be beautiful and hostile. The fields of blue bonnets in full bloom are breathtaking. The cacti that abound around barbed wire…

  • Research opportunities for medical students and residents

    Edward TaborWashington, DC, United States Medical residents who engage in scientific research obtain numerous advantages that may enhance their careers. They acquire analytical skills, refine their critical thinking, and may develop better future training opportunities. Unfortunately, scientific research is often not part of their training, leading to the suggestion that this should change and that…