Tag Archives: Germany

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 […]

Albert C. Barnes, MD: the physician who spun silver into gold

Sylvia Karasu New York, New York, United States   Argyrol, the compound developed by Dr. Albert C. Barnes and Dr. Hermann Hille to treat ophthalmia neonatorum, a conjunctivitis that led to blindness in newborns then caused by gram-negative gonococcus bacteria. Infection was contracted from mothers during vaginal delivery. Credit: Argyrol bottle, c. 1902-1907, Barnes & […]

Doctor Schiller

Nicolas Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain Figure 1. Portrait of Friedrich Schiller by Gerhard von Kügelgen. Goethe-Museum. Public Domain.   Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was born on November 10, 1759 in Marbach, Württemberg, Germany. His father, Johann Caspar Schiller, was a regimental surgeon in the service of Duke Karl Eugen of Württemberg. Schiller (1759–1805) is […]

Dr. Fanny Halpern, a psychiatric go-between of 1930s Shanghai

Richard Zhang Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   “Dr. F.G. Halpern” in an advertisement for the Puci Sanatorium in the Shen Bao, September 20, 1935. source On September 20, 1935, a lengthy advertisement in one of Shanghai’s most popular newspapers, the Shen Bao, celebrated the recent opening of the Shanghai Puci Sanatorium (上海普濨療養院).1 The sanatorium would […]

The hunt for a yellow fever therapy

Edward McSweegen Kingston, Rhode Island, United States   Roux’s syringe for delivering antitoxin, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia  Source In March 2020, a research group in China reported the use of convalescent plasma to treat ten patients suffering from coronavirus COVID-19 infections.1 This type of therapy—passive immunization—dates back to 1891 when the German bacteriologist Emil […]