Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Gynecology

  • Winnie Ille Pu and Dr. Alexander Lenard

    Avi OhryTel Aviv, Israel Sandor (Alexander) Lenard1 was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1910 and died in Dona Irma, Santa Catarina, Brazil in 1972. He was a Jewish poet, author, physician, painter, musician, translator, language teacher, philosopher, and polyglot. A short outline of Lenard’s life events could be summarized as follows: Hungary, medical studies in…

  • Arthur William Mayo-Robson

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Figure 1. Arthur William Mayo-Robson. Photogravure. Wellcome Images via Wikimedia. Public domain. Arthur William Robson (1853–1933) (Fig 1) was born the son of a chemist John Bonnington Robson, in Filey, a popular Yorkshire seaside resort.1 He later added Mayo to his surname. He is reported as attending Wesley…

  • J. Marion Sims and the reputation-character distinction

    Jack E. RiggsMatthew S. SmithMorgantown, West Virginia, United States “Reputation is what men and women think of us;character is what God and angels know of us.”— Thomas Paine (likely inaccurate attribution) Few medical legacies have been more controversial than that of J. Marion Sims, the Father of American Gynecology.1-3 Sims rose from humble and obscure…

  • Walter E. Dandy, one of the founders of neurosurgery

    Philip R. LiebsonChicago, Illinois, United States Three pioneers established the discipline of neurosurgery. They were the British surgeon Victor Horsley and the Americans Harvey Cushing and Walter Dandy. Both Americans were surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Dandy (1886-1946) was the youngest. His innovations include the first clipping of an intracranial aneurysm, the surgical management…

  • Medical school final exams: playing the odds

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden I had finished eighteen months of clinical rotations at an American hospital and was back at my medical school in Belgium to take final exams. I checked in to a small hotel in the center of town and settled in for two weeks of last-minute cramming. I was going to take five…

  • Book review: The Doctors Blackwell

    Elizabeth Coon Eelco Wijdicks Rochester, Minnesota, United States   The Doctors Blackwell. Janice P. Nimura. Edith Lutzker celebrated the centennial anniversary of the struggle of five British heroines in her 1969 groundbreaking book Woman Gain A Place in Medicine. Much less has been written on women physicians in Europe and Asia, but the Italian universities…

  • Lawson Tait, father of aseptic surgery and gynecology

    Robert Lawson Tait. via Wikimedia. Robert Lawson Tait was fifth in a dynasty of pioneers who helped transform surgery from a primitive craft to a sophisticated life-saving art. They all worked for a time at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary—James Syme (the “Napoleon of Surgery”), Robert Liston (“time me, gentlemen”), James Simpson (“made childbirth painless”), and…

  • Salernitan women

    Vicent Rodilla Alicia López-Castellano Valencia, Spain   Figure 1. A miniature from Avicenna’s Canon representing the Salernitan Medical School. Source The first medical school in the Western world is thought to be the Schola Medica Salernitana (Figure 1), which traces its origins to the dispensary of an early medieval monastery.1 The medical school at Salerno…

  • Thomas Keith: Pioneer photographer and pioneer surgeon

    Iain Macintyre Edinburgh, Scotland Figure 1. Thomas Keith. Artist and date unknown. Etching with Keith’s signature (image reproduced with permission Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh). “His success so far outstripped that of all other operators, that it became a wonder and admiration of surgeons all over the world.”1 So wrote J Marion Sims (1813–1883),…

  • Ephesus and its renowned physicians

    L. J. Sandlow George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   To visit the extensive ruins of Ephesus is to step back into the beginnings of history. The city had been founded by Ionian Greek colonists in the tenth century BC. It prevailed after an early turbulent history and was prospered initially as an independent city-state.…