Tag Archives: Howard Fischer

Early lessons

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Virginia Emergency Room, image from “Historic VCU: A VCU Images Special Collection” VCU Libraries from Richmond, VA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons Finally, it was my first day in a US hospital after studying medicine in Europe for five and a half years. A medical education at the […]

Knock, or The Triumph of Medicine

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Louis Jouvet and André Dalibert in Knock, by Guy Lefranc (1951) “The man who feels well is actually sick and doesn’t know it.” —Dr. Knock   Jules Romains (1885-1972), author of the play Knock, or the Triumph of Medicine, was a novelist, poet, essayist, playwright, and short story writer. He […]

Franz Kafka, A Country Doctor, (and Bob Dylan)

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Elk Viewing Sleigh Ride – Thunder Bay Resort, Hillman MI. Photo by Joe Ross. Via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0 Certainly doctors are stupid, or rather, they’re not more stupid than other people but their pretensions are ridiculous; [but] you have to reckon with the fact that they become more and […]

“Of Mice and Men”: a differential diagnosis for Lennie Small

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Colin Waters stars as Lennie in Charleston Stage’s 2018 production of Of Mice and Men. Photo courtesy of Marybeth Clark. Source. In John Steinbeck’s 1937 novel Of Mice and Men,1 the two main characters work as itinerant laborers on farms and ranches in California during the Great Depression. Their only attachments […]

Abraham Lincoln’s smallpox

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   [Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad looking at an album of photographs.] Anthony Berger. 1864. Library of Congress. A brutal, bloody civil war had been tearing the United States of America apart for two years when President Abraham Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 19, 1863. Four months before […]

Atrocities in Asia: Japan’s infamous Unit 731

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Bayonet practice, wherein Japanese soldiers used dead Chinese for targets. photographed by an Associated Press photographer near Tientsin. Date, 5 September 1937. Source, LIFE, Oct 11, 1937. page 30. Via Wikimedia In 1931 the Japanese army occupied the province of Manchuria in north-east China and continued to invade and occupy […]

Nazi doctors and medical eponyms

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Special Children’s Ward” Vienna Am Spiegelgrund. Source. The tradition in medicine has been to name a pathological condition after the person who first described it in the medical literature. Thus we have Addison’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and several hundred others. The tendency now is to eliminate the possessive,1 giving Addison […]

Not as a Stranger: The desperate medical student

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Doctors or medical students listening to their heartbeats using a multiple stethoscope. Photograph. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) In order to study medicine, a future doctor needs motivation, some intelligence, a medical school, and the ability to pay for the education. Morton Thompson’s 1954 novel Not […]