Tag Archives: Howard Fischer

Diagnosis: Neurosyphilis. Treatment: Malaria, iatrogenic

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Patient in Kettering hypertherm cabinet undergoing fever therapy. New Orleans, 1937. U.S. Marine Hospital. Works Progress Administration photo. New Orleans Public Library Digital Collections via Wikimedia. Public domain. “The syphilitic man was thinking hard…about how to get his legs to step off the curb and carry him across Washington Street. […]

A tale of three doctors

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Early print of an execution by guillotine, as proposed by Dr. Guillotin. Jean-François Janinet, c. 1789–1791. Musée Carnavalet, Histoire de Paris via Wikimedia. Public domain. “How true it is that it is difficult to benefit mankind without some unpleasantness resulting for oneself.” – Dr. Edme-Claude Bourru, giving Dr. Guillotin’s eulogy […]

Going berserk

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Berserk: frenzied, furiously, or madly violent. – Oxford English Dictionary   Imaginative drawing of a berserker in a fur loincloth. From Den Skandinavska Nordens Historia (The Scandinavian North’s History) by Gustaf Henrik Mellin, published 1850. The British Library on Flickr via Norwegian Wikipedia. No known copyright restrictions. The word berserkr […]

Dr. Oriol Mitjà: seeking to understand old and new infectious diseases

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Research needs to give answers to real problems.” – Dr. Oriol Mitjà   Oriol Mitjà. Photo by Oriol.mitja, 2016, on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. Dr. Oriol Mitjà (b. 1980) earned his M.D. degree from the University of Barcelona. He then completed an internal medicine residency, followed by a fellowship in […]

Daumier’s doctors

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Le médecin : Pourquoi, diable! mes malades s’en vont-ils donc tous?”. Caricature by Daumier. National Library of Medicine. No known copyright restrictions. “Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.” – Reinhold Niebuhr   Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) was a “fundamentally discontented” French social critic, painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He produced over […]

Dr. Gerhard Domagk and prontosil: dyeing beats dying

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein   Erysipelas infection in face due to streptococcal bacteria. Photo by CDC/Dr. Thomas F. Sellers, Emory University, 1963. CDC Public Health Image Library. Public domain. Dr. Gerhard Domagk (1895–1964) was a German pathologist […]

Dr. Jochem Hoyer’s singular act of altruism

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Operating theatre. Photo by Piotr Bodzek. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” — Martin Luther King, Jr.   Kidney transplantation is the preferred form of treatment for chronic, permanent renal failure. Transplanted patients have better long-term survival than […]

“Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease”

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Hair loss in child with tinea capitis infection. CDC, 1970. Public domain. Overconfidence is an undesirable quality. It does not enhance a physician’s approach to learning, nor to changing when change is needed. How a doctor diagnoses or treats a condition today may cause future generations of physicians to wonder, […]

Fascist Italy: The Battle for Births

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Babies in a basket. Photo by Harris & Ewing, May 1923. Library of Congress. No known restrictions on publication. “It’s up to you to create a generation of soldiers and pioneers for the defense of the empire.” – Benito Mussolini, to the women of Italy1 “Women are a charming pastime…but […]

When Papa Doc treated yaws

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   A patient with yaws prior to and two weeks after a single injection of benzathine penicillin. 1950s. From Kingsley Asiedu, Christopher Fitzpatrick, and Jean Jannin, “Eradication of Yaws: Historical Efforts and Achieving WHO’s 2020 Target.” PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8(9), 2014: e3016, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003016. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 4.0. “Our Doc […]