Tag Archives: Greece

A brief history of kidney transplantation

Laura Carreras-Planella Marcella Franquesa Ricardo Lauzurica Francesc E. Borràs Barcelona, Spain   We may think of renal transplantation as routine therapy today, but this procedure has taken centuries to develop and is marked by important events in the history of science. An ancient description of the kidneys is found in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, dated […]

Asclepius at Epidaurus

L. J. Sandlow George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   An Athenian seeking a cure for his afflictions in the fourth century BC had the option of visiting several competing sanctuaries, at Delphi, Olympia, or Epidaurus. To reach Epidaurus, the Athenian would bypass Megara and Corinth, then turn south and find himself at the shrine […]

Great expectations

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Summer Calm—image by the author “Doctor, I want you to treat her as a forty-year old!” What is the appropriate answer to a demand like that from a daughter about the treatment of her eighty-eight-year-old mother? Any suggestion that her mother might not do well even with the best treatment […]

The beginnings of humane psychiatry: Pinel and the Tukes

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Portrait of Philippe Pinel by Anna Mérimée. 1826. Public domain. From Wikimedia. “It is perhaps not going too far to maintain that Pinel has been to eighteenth-century psychiatry what Newton was to its natural philosophy and Linnaeus to its taxonomy.” -George Rousseau, Historian, 1991 Although modern treatment of […]

Hippocrates, abortion, and cutting for stone

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Two methods of lithotomic position recommended by Sushruta. From Mukhopadhyaya G. The surgical instruments of the Hindus. (vol 2) Calcutta University Press 1914 pp 79 – 80 [public domain] Physicians who take The Oath of Hippocrates swear not to perform abortions or operate for bladder stones: Similarly, […]

The Red Cross and hematology pioneers

Barnabas Pastory Dar es Salaam, Tanzania   The Red Cross and the Red Crescent emblems at the museum in Geneva. Photo by Julius.kusuma. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. Providing medical care to suffering humankind constitutes an important part of the Red Cross’ service scope. History records an important connection between the Red Cross and pioneers in […]

Brief encounters

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Quicksilver in blue. Photo by Anthony Papagiannis. Doctor-patient relationships are as unique as the potential pairs of doctors and patients. At one end of the spectrum there is the one-time encounter, usually for some straightforward and self-limiting problem: the doctor may never see the patient again. At the other extreme, […]

Preparing for the unexpected

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Sunset in Halkidiki, Greece, Fall 2019. Photo by Anthony Papagiannis. Working in specialist medical practice one is familiar with the spectrum of clinical problems likely to appear in one’s regular professional menu. However, it is common knowledge that unexpected situations do occur: the human body and being is complex and […]

A traditional practice in baby care: salting

Sinem Çaka Sakarya, Turkey Sümeyra Topal Kahramanamaras, Turkey Nursan Çınar Sakarya, Turkey   Lamp made from natural Cankiri rock salt used in bedrooms in Turkey In many societies, there are traditional practices performed to protect babies from magic, witchcraft, or the evil eye. At first, it may seem that these practices would have no particular […]

Erasistratus

Erasistratus (304–250 BC) founded a school of anatomy in Alexandria, where he described the valves of the heart; concluded that the heart functioned as a pump; and distinguished between arteries and veins. He believed that the arteries were full of air and that they carried the “animal spirit”; appears to have almost discovered the circulation of the blood; and carried […]