Tag Archives: Howard Fischer

Haff disease: We don’t know all of it

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Dish of crawdads. Photo by Justin Watt via Wikimedia. CC BY 3.0. “It was an unbelievably sad thing to watch. Strong men being carried from their fishing boats to their homes—completely stiff and utterly helpless.” – Witness to 1924 disease outbreak   In the history of medicine there are examples […]

A cesarean section in Uganda in 1879

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Successful Cesarean section performed by indigenous healers in Kahura, Uganda as observed by R.W. Felkin. 1879. Via Wikimedia.  “A strange story indeed, almost too good to be true.”1   Until the end of the nineteenth century, a cesarean section to deliver an infant was considered to be an operation with […]

John E. Fryer, M.D.: A majority of one

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Historical marker honoring John Fryer. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 2017. Photo by NMGiovannucci on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0.  “Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.” – Henry David Thoreau   Homosexuality was defined as a psychiatric disorder in 1952, in the first edition of […]

Alexa Canady, MD: The first Black woman neurosurgeon

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Dr. Alexa Canady. NIH Changing the Face of Medicine Exhibition. Via Wikimedia. Fair use. “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein   Alexa Canady (b. 1950) was the daughter of Clinton Canady, Jr., DDS, and Elizabeth Canady, a civil rights activist and the first […]

Conflict about the clitoris: Colombo versus Fallopio

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Anatomical theatre of Padua. Photo by Marco Bisello on Wikimedia. “The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” – Oscar Wilde   The clitoris, a female genital structure anatomically homologous to the penis, was known to the ancients. In 540 BC, the Greek Hipponax made one of the earliest references […]

Fraudulent medical research and “zombie articles”

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   A misleadingly scaled pictogram, in which there seem to be more bananas collected than the other fruits. “Pictograph not aligned and different size” by Smallman12q on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. A correctly scaled pictogram, in which the fruit icons are of nearly equal size. “Pictograph aligned and similar size” by […]

Jaws and galeophobia

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Ignorance is the parent of fear.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick   An underwater tunnel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “Aquaria” photo by Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi on Flickr. CC BY 2.0. The 1975 thriller film, Jaws, takes place in a New England summer resort town. People flock to the beach, […]

The fainting medical student

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Abandoned. Painting by James Tissot, c.1881–2. Via Bridgeman Images on Fine Art America. Public domain. “Fall backward if you faint, and not across the patient.”1 – Surgeon Sir Lancelot Sprat, in the film Doctor in the House   The squeamishness of the beginning medical student or intern during the dissection […]

Fixed schedules and no kissing: Child rearing according to Drs. Holt and Watson

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Photo by Arwan Sutanto on Unsplash “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Benjamin Spock, MD   Child rearing “experts” first appeared at the end of the nineteenth century. L. Emmett Holt, MD (1855–1924), graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1880. He decided […]

On orchids and testes

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Orchis anthropophora (L.) All. (originally labeled Aceras anthropophorum (L.) R.Br.). From Album des Orchidées d’Europe by Henry Correvon, 1923. Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz. Botanical Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland. “You like orchids?…Nasty things. Their flesh is too much like the flesh of men, their perfume the […]