Tag Archives: Gregory Rutecki

Ladies in red: medical and metaphorical reflections on La Traviata

Milad Matta Gregory Rutecki Lyndhurst, Ohio, United States   Illustration by Jason Malmberg. “. . . phthisic beauty[’s] . . . most famous operatic embodiment was Violetta Valery . . .This physical type became not only fashionable but sexy . . . When a society does not understand—and cannot control—a disease, ground seems to open […]

Should primary hyperaldosteronism be renamed Litynski-Conn Syndrome?

Gregory W. Rutecki Lyndhurst, Ohio, United States   Michael Litynski M.D. was born in 1906 in Lodz, Poland. As a physician during World War II, he joined the Polish Resistance. He treated resistance fighters and was active during the infamous Warsaw Uprising in 1945. Dr. Litynski was also awarded the Yad Vashem medal for his […]

A Dickensian medical education

Gregory Rutecki Lyndhurst, Ohio, United States   Illustration for Nicholas Nickleby by Hablot Browne. 1839. My four grandparents were Polish immigrants who came to America in the early twentieth century. They had no formal education, neither in Poland nor in their new home in Chicago, but worked hard and saved money to pay for the […]

Poe’s Consumptive Paradox

Gregory Rutecki Cleveland, Ohio, USA   Tuberculosis may have killed more people than any pathogen in history1  leaving an array of terrible stigmata whenever it extinguished life. The essential image of tuberculosis in the  eighteenth century was that of foul decay.2 Morgagni vividly described the road to a consumptive death as, “(she) threw up pus […]

Japanese-American internment camps in World War Two

Gregory W. Rutecki Cleveland, Ohio, USA   Bill Mauldin’s cartoons regarding the NISEI 15   “What constitutes an American? Not color…race…An American…(is) one in whose heart is engraved the immortal second sentence of the Declaration of Independence.”1  “Any person who considers himself…a member of Western Society inherits the Western past from Athens and Jerusalem to Runneymede […]

Reflections on early 20th century tuberculosis: a juxtaposition of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain and Edward L. Trudeau’s Autobiography

Gregory Rutecki Cleveland, Ohio, USA   Abandoned German TB sanitarium The early twentieth century was an auspicious time for medicine. Physicians of the era would be the first to transform the mysterious “captain of all these men of death” into a living, “breathing” bacillus named Mycobacterium tuberculosis.1 As a corollary of the fundamental discovery, diagnostic […]