Tag Archives: Gynecology

Medical school final exams: playing the odds

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Five men toast around a table. Unknown photographer. between circa 1890 and circa 1910. Nordic Museum NMA.0057916. Via Wikimedia 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 […]

Book review: The Doctors Blackwell

Elizabeth A. Coon Eelco F. M. 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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Heartbreak in the nursery

Shruthi Ravishankar Chennai, India   Image description: Cherry red spot as seen in Tay Sachs disease. The center of the fovea appears bright red because it is surrounded by a milky halo. Photo by Jonathan Trobe, MD. 6 September 2011. Public Domain. Source I began the long drive to the pediatric hospital on a route peppered […]

Howard Kelly’s avant-garde autopsy method

Julius P. Bonello, George E. Tsourdinis Peoria, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Dr. Howard Kelly (Photo courtesy of The Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions)3 Once dubbed the “Prince of Gynecology,” Dr. Howard A. Kelly was one of the most prominent surgeons in the United States in the early […]

Origins of the Pap smear

When Dr. Georgios Papanikolaou brought his wife to America in 1913 he had $250 in his pocket. Both had to take menial jobs, she as a seamstress, he as a rug salesman, violin player in a restaurant, and clerk at a Greek newspaper. A year later, he obtained a position as laboratory technician at Cornell […]

Lessons learned from the Greeks: The physician-patient relationship in Hippocratic Gynecology

Jenna Nickas New Brunswick, NJ, USA   Sanctuary of Asclepius, Epidaurus, Greece. June 8, 2013 (photo taken by Jenna, on her 21st birthday) The medical treatment of women in Classical Greece was a topic not overlooked by the Hippocratic tradition. Much of the Corpus addresses the health of women, especially Epidemics and Diseases of Women. […]