Tag Archives: Illinois

Did Ernest Hemingway have the Celtic curse?

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1954. GPA Photo Archive. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0 Considering Ernest Hemingway’s mishaps before he died in 1961 by a self-inflicted shotgun wound, it is surprising that he lived so long. He survived two plane crashes several days apart that left […]

The death of James Abram Garfield

Philip Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   James Abram Garfield. By Ole Peter Hansen Balling. 1881. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Public Domain. The medical treatment of some US presidents and ex-presidents has been controversial. One example is George Washington, who in 1799 at age sixty-seven suffered from an acute throat ailment that was treated […]

The wonderful world of vaccines

Jayant Radhakrishnan Chicago, Illinois, United States   A patient with his whole body covered with smallpox lesions. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, photo by Barbara Rice. Epidemics and pandemics became an issue about 10,000 years ago when hunters and gatherers became farmers and began to live in communities. Smallpox was one of the first […]

A bad taste in the mouth: over fifty years of doubt about MSG

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   A Chinese Food Storefront in New York, NY. Photo by Jkusachi. June 2019. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. Monosodium glutamate’s bad reputation started with one letter to the New England Journal of Medicine. From there, the truth was confused by misinformation and prejudice. Dr. Robert Ho Man Kwok […]

Tutorial for surgeons by Lawrence Peter Berra

Jayant Radhakrishnan Chicago, Illinois, United States   The above photograph is from the archives of the Cook County Hospital when it closed. It was taken in the amphitheater in the main building. Autopsies were an indispensable part of surgical learning in the past. In this photograph two autopsies are being carried out simultaneously. The year […]

Carl Gustav Jung

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Carl Jung. Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Creative Commons. In the autumn of 1913, Carl Gustav Jung was traveling alone by train through the rust and amber forest of the Swiss countryside. The thirty-eight-year-old psychiatrist had been lately troubled by strange dreams and a rising sense of tension, […]

Oswaldo Cruz and the eradication of infectious diseases in Brazil

Robert Perlman Chicago, Illinois, United States   Photo of buildings on Rue Oswaldo-Cruz, a street in Paris named after the physician. Photo from Wikimedia by user CVB. CC BY-SA 4.0 In 1899, an epidemic of bubonic plague caused a crisis in the Brazilian port city of Santos. Ship captains were angry that their boats had […]

Solitude

Donna Pucciani Wheaton, Illinois, United States   You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley . . . —American Folk Song   Photo by Donna Pucciani We learn to be alone for months when microscopic murder floats in the air like so much smoke. We learn to fear the passing stranger whose only misdeed is walking […]

In praise of swimming: from Benjamin Franklin to Oliver Sacks

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Oliver Sacks as a young child with his father. Courtesy of the Oliver Sacks Foundation. Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was not a physician, but many thought he was so-trained and referred to him as “Doctor” Franklin. After accepting an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in […]

The Siege

Glen P. Aylward  Springfield, Illinois, United States   The Siege reflects the battle society is currently waging against a formidable adversary—COVID-19. The colors indicate fear and frustration, but also hope. Front-line medical personnel wearing PPE are depicted in the background. The painting is acrylic on canvas. The Siege. Glen P. Aylward. Acrylic on canvas.   […]