Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Hektoen

  • 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…

  • Snapped by Snapchat: social media and adolescents

    Ganga Prasanth Austin, Texas, United States   Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash  When was the last time you checked in with social media? An hour ago? Thirty minutes? Maybe ten? Social media plays a large role in modern society. Humans have an innate drive to belong to groups and take part in social interactions; and a sense…

  • Dr. Peabody, the ideal medical practitioner

    Rachel BrightKevin QosjaLiam ButchartStony Brook, New York, United States Art not only imitates nature, but completes its deficiencies.—Aristotle, Physics A common complaint about medical students, doctors, and healthcare providers is that the scientific and technological progress of the last few decades has led them to neglect meaningful interactions, leaving patients bereft of the human touch—with…

  • A wider science

    Ahmad ShakeriHowsikan KugathasanToronto, Ontario, Canada Working at a Toronto harm reduction clinic helped reconcile my different points of view on drug addiction. In the classroom, I was a progressive-minded graduate student willing to apply research to improve health outcomes for people who use drugs. But on the street and the subway, my personal policy was…

  • Epidemics from plague to Coronavirus

    Michael YafiHouston, Texas, United States Throughout history humanity has faced many epidemics and pandemics that caused panic and massive casualties. Although in modern times pathogens have shifted from bacteria to viruses, each new epidemic brings back fears of diseases from the past such as bubonic plague, cholera, typhoid, and leprosy. Society has usually responded to…

  • Ferdinand Sauerbruch, father of thoracic surgery

    Annabelle Slingerland Leon Lacquet Leiden, the Netherlands   Ferndinand Sauerbruch at a medical lecture at the University of Zurich, between 1910 and 1917. Source unknown. Accessed via Wikimedia commons. Source Ferdinand Sauerbruch (1875-1951) was one of the most important thoracic surgeons of the first half of the twentieth century, remembered for pioneering a method that…

  • Blood is the life

    Saameer Pani Sydney, Australia Vampire—the very word itself conjures up images of supernatural creatures who look not unlike you and me, prowl about at night, prey on unsuspecting souls, and sink their fangs into innumerable, hapless victims to quench their thirst for blood. Monstrous but beautiful, repulsive yet magnetic, vampires have fascinated us for centuries…

  • John Arbuthnot: physician, wit, and creator of John Bull

    JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Portrait of Arbuthnot on reprint of John Bull In the light of recent British parliamentary chaos, by chance I discovered this irresistible quotation: “All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies” -John Arbuthnot At a time when in most westernized countries physicians and…

  • Letting go of logic

    Nimisha BajajColumbus, Ohio, United States “He’s here for aspiration pneumonia. He doesn’t want a G-tube even though we tried to explain to him that if he continues to eat and drink by mouth, this will keep happening and he will eventually die from it. Can you come down and see him?” The palliative care fellow,…

  • Blood policies and bioart in the 1900s

    Christopher HubbardOhio, United States Policies related to blood that were adopted in the U.S. during the early to mid-1900s produced cultural and legal effects for certain populations. In 1920, for example, the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act was passed by Congress,1 which modified how identity classifications and boundaries would be drawn up. The act classified an…