Tag Archives: Hekint

Drawing parallels in pandemic art

Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta Victor Grech Pembroke, Malta   Photo of the crowd at an undetermined 1918 Georgia Tech home football game. Photo by Thomas Carter, Public domain. Via Wikimedia. “Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world; yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down […]

Another look at the medical problems of Jean-Paul Marat: searching for a unitary diagnosis

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   L’Assassinat de Marat / Charlotte Corday. Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry. 1860. Musée d’Arts de Nantes. Via Wikimedia. Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793) was a practicing physician, scientist, and a leader of the French Revolution. He also suffered from a chronic, intractable skin condition, which troubled the last five years of his life. A tormenting […]

My very own back pain

Andrew Bamji Rye, East Sussex, UK   Illustration by Claude Serre. As a rheumatologist, now retired, I spent a good portion of my working life dealing with patients who had back pain. I reckoned over the course of thirty-three years in the specialty that I had back pain largely nailed. I developed an algorithm which […]

Theodor Kocher (1841-1917)

Emil Theodor Kocher. published in 1909 in Les Prix Nobel p. 66. Via Wikimedia. Theodor Kocher was the first surgeon to ever receive the Nobel Prize. He was born in 1841 in Bern, Switzerland, went to school there, and was first in his class. He studied medicine in Bern and graduated summa cum laude, then went […]

COVID-19 and the Black Death

Colleen Donnelly  Denver, Colorado, United States   A street during the plague in London with a death cart and mourners. Colour wood engraving by E. Evans. Wellcome Library no. 6918i. Source During the fourteenth century waves of the bubonic plague washed across Europe. Doomsday books of the age described an apocalypse that wiped out one-quarter […]

Budapest: medicine and paprika

L. J. Sandlow George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   The Magyars, ancestors of modern Hungarians, came from the region of the Ural Mountains and invaded Europe around AD 800. Crossing the Carpathian Mountains, they conquered the Pannonian plain and established a large and important medieval kingdom. In 1526 they were defeated at the decisive […]

Samuel Solly—distinguished surgeon and educator

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Samuel Solly. Wood engraving, 1871. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Samuel Solly was born in St. Mary Axe, London, on May 13, 1805. He attended school in Walthamstow, East London, where his contemporaries included the future British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.1 In May 1822 he became an apprentice to […]

The literary breakdown in Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch

Carol-Ann Farkas Boston, Massachusetts, United States   The Goldfinch By Carel Fabritius. 1654. Mauritshuis. Public Domain. Wikimedia. I. Diagnostically speaking, the “nervous” or “mental” breakdown is not a thing. The term has never been formally used in psychology, which has long preferred specific, definable categorizations of symptoms and conditions: stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, trauma.1 And yet […]

Two great Scots: John and William Hunter

B. Herold Griffith Chicago, Illinois, United States   Excerpted from a presentation at the meeting of the Society of Medical History of Chicago October 3, 2006 Portrait of William Hunter. Credit: Hunterian Society loan to the Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Of the many surgeons who have had ties to Glasgow over […]

A birth remembered

F. Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. The Birth of Benjamin and the Death of Rachel, by Francesco Furini (1600 or 1603-1646). Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Memory is to old age as presbyopia (far-sightedness) is to eyesight. Presbyopia makes you lose the ability to see clearly at a normal near […]