Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Italy

  • Dipinto di blu: Turning blue in a Florence hospital

    Giulio Nicita Florence, Italy   A view of Villa Monna Tessa. From the author’s archive. We were in the middle of the 1970s in Florence, Italy. We had concluded the long, tedious years of university study. Real work awaited us in Villa Monna Tessa, a large early 1900s four-story building. It housed several departments of…

  • Book review: My Years with the British Red Cross

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of My Years with The British Red Cross: A Chief Executive Reflects by Sir Nick Young. The Red Cross is known worldwide as a great humanitarian achievement. The charity was founded by Swiss businessman Henri Dunant, who was moved by the lack of care available to people who…

  • Dancing with spiders: tarantellas and tarantism

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “There are always hysterical people undergoing extraordinary cures.” – Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man Etching of people dancing the tarantella and playing music as an antidote to a tarantula bite. Wellcome Collection. Public domain.   The industrial city of Taranto is in the “heel” of boot-shaped Italy. The Romans called…

  • 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…

  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning—isolation and the artist

    Elizabeth Lovett Colledge  Jacksonville, Florida, United States   Portrait of Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Evert Duykinck Via Wikimedia. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is perhaps best known for the poem “How do I Love Thee,” addressed to her husband Robert Browning, as well as their courtship, elopement, and subsequent years together in Europe. However, one might revisit…

  • Doctor in exile

    Constance Markey Chicago, Illinois, United States   Portrait of Carlo Levi. By Carl Van Vechten, photographer (created/published: 1947 June 4) (Wikipedia.org) In August of 1935, a handcuffed Dr. Carlo Levi, (1902-1975), author of Cristo si è fermato a Eboli, (Christ Stopped at Eboli) arrived in the miserable southern Italian village of Gagliano (actually, Aliano).1 He…

  • Women surgeons

    Moustapha Abousamra Ventura, California, United States   Cactus flower with buds.Image courtesy of the author. Last spring, I spent three months in the Texas Hill Country. It is a place that at once can be beautiful and hostile. The fields of blue bonnets in full bloom are breathtaking. The cacti that abound around barbed wire…

  • Syndrome K and the Fatebenefratelli Hospital

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Giovanni Borromeo – Italian doctor – Righteous Among the Nations. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 “Whoever saves one life, it is as if he saved the whole world.” — Talmud (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5)1   Italy was an ally of Nazi Germany and was required to enact anti-Semitic laws.2 Beginning in…

  • A circle of hip surgery around four continents

    Peter ArnoldSydney, Australia My story begins in Sydney in late January 1980. A businessman in his mid-fifties (Mr. C.) had been on his way to source products in the UK. As his student son was traveling in Italy, he decided to visit him by stopping over in Rome on his way north. When the young…

  • Hispanic, Latin, Latino, Latina, or Latinx?

    Bernardo Ng Imperial County, California, United States   Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month Celebration 2019. Photo by CSUF Photos. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. The first time I became aware of a scientific group using the term Latinx was in 2018 during a meeting in Austin, Texas. It is a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina that…