Tag Archives: History

Unlikely pioneers in renal transplantation: The Little Company of Mary Sisters

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   The first kidney transplant was performed by Dr. Richard Lawler, Dr. James West, and Dr. Raymond Murphy at Little Company of Mary Hospital, Evergreen Park, IL. Photo courtesy of OSF Little Company of Mary Medical center.  Dr. Joseph Murray deservedly received the Nobel Prize in 1990 for his magnificent pioneering […]

Science versus religion: the medieval disenchantment

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. An engraving showing a monopod or sclapod, a female Cyclops, conjoined twins, a blemmye, and a cynocephali. By Sebastian Münster 1544. Source History is a novel whose author is the people. -Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863)   In medieval times, knowledge, beliefs, and faith were largely centered upon a […]

Mustard: history of the yellow seed

Carol Sherman Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. The Sign from the Mustard Museum. Photo taken by Douglas R. Siefken, August 15th, 2019. Provided for this article. The National Mustard Museum in Middleton Wisconsin1 describes itself as having over 5,600 mustards. They originate from all fifty states of the United States and from more […]

Political obfuscation and medical speculation

Charles G. Kels San Antonio, Texas, United States   Grover Cleveland, 22nd (1885-1889) and 24th President (1893-1897) of the United States, with trademark mustache intact. He is the only US president to serve non-consecutive terms. National Archives, Washington, D.C., USA. Public domain. Politicians have long endeavored to keep their health concerns secret. In US presidential […]

America’s Arab refugees: vulnerability and health on the margins

Richard Zhang New Haven, Connecticut, United States   Image used with permission of Marcia C. Inhorn. Arab refugees, like others throughout history, have grappled with issues of somatic and mental health, cultural belonging, and fertility. Timely and eye-opening, Marcia Inhorn’s America’s Arab Refugees is the first anthropological book to focus on the aforementioned refugees and […]

The history and mystery of cupping

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   Peasant Spa of Krapinske Toplice, Yugoslavia. Where ancient method of cupping using cow horns is practised. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY Maybe your chest hurts from coughing, or maybe your muscles ache. Maybe you feel sluggish and anxious, worn out, and not sure why. There is a treatment, some […]

Cranium: the symbolic powers of the skull

F. Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, USA   It Was a Man and a Pot. Georgia O’Keeffe. 1942. Crocker Art Museum Of all bodily parts, the head has traditionally enjoyed the greatest prestige. The Platonic Timaeus tells us that secondary gods (themselves created by the Demiurge) copied the round form of the universe to make the head, […]

“Surrounded with many Mercies”: 270 years of patient advice

Andrew Williams Frederick O’Dell Northampton, United Kingdom   On July 9, 1748 Dr. James Stonhouse, physician at the Northampton Infirmary (United Kingdom), published “A Friendly Letter to a Patient just admitted to an Infirmary.”1 Later that year, after some minor revisions, the text was reprinted as “Friendly Advice to a Patient,” which for the next […]

Revisiting the history of kuru

Tanzila Saiyed Chernivtsi, Ukraine   Three kuru patients at the kuru hospital in Okapa requiring support to stand erect. The Fore adolescent supporting the patient on the right, himself had incipient kuru and died within one year. The other two died within six months Courtesy of late D. Carleton Gajdusek. CC BY 3.0. An eleven […]

The lost art and the hidden treasure

Jennifer Bingham Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania   It is the moment we catch ourselves wishing someone had mentioned how many pieces were in this puzzle that we look up to find progress. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels. The puzzle box is empty and the pieces are scattered across the table. After all, a puzzle was never meant […]