Tag Archives: Greece

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 […]

Shaking hands

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece     Alonissos Island, the Aegean, Greece There is a fine but clearly visible tremor in the pale, smooth, well-groomed hands of my visitor. He makes an effort to keep his face still and composed, lips forcedly stiff, eyes unsmiling, the whole look somber. “I have had a new scan,” he […]

The flu vaccine: transparency, uncertainty, and trust in medicine

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Sailing for the Holy Mountain from Ouranoupolis, Greece A few years ago the fear of ‘pandemic flu’ was spread widely all over the world, causing what has been termed an “emotional epidemic.”1 The disease itself, its social dimensions, and the ways it was publicly handled could form the subject for an […]

Bari in the seventh cholera pandemic

Salvatore Barbuti Moro, Italy Domenico Martinelli Rosa Prato Foggia, Italy   Gazzetta del Mezzoggiorno, Bari, Italy, 31st August 1973. Photo Courtesy of Prof. Salvatore Barbuti’s private collection. It all began on a quiet warm afternoon in August 1973 when an infectious diseases specialist called his friend in public health and hesitantly asked for a test […]