Tag Archives: JMS Pearce

Harvey Cushing and pituitary diseases

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Harvey Cushing. Cropped from: Harvey Williams Cushing and Sir Charles Scott Sherrington. Photograph, 1938. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain. Of the many aspects and contributions of Harvey Williams Cushing (1869-1939) (Fig 1), this sketch concentrates on his identification of a basophilic tumor of the pituitary with adrenal hyperfunction that […]

Leeching and François-Joseph-Victor Broussais

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Broussais & leeching. Credit: Encyclopædia Britannica. The practice of bloodletting began with the Egyptians and was succeeded by the Greeks, Romans (including Galen), and healers in India. In medieval times it spread throughout Europe. The “leech craze” was so popular in the nineteenth century that it has […]

The “Ether Controversy”

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Warren and Morton’s operation in the Ether Dome, restaged with Mass General physicians assuming the roles of the original participants. Warren Zapol, MD, chief of anesthesia and critical care, starred as Dr. Morton, while Philip Kistler, MD, director of the Mass General stroke unit, played Dr. Warren. […]

Dr. William Minor and the Oxford English Dictionary

JMS Pearce  Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Johnson’s Dictionary [photo: author’s copy] After the first dictionary of English words (Robert Cawdrey’s A Table Alphabetical… 1604) many dictionaries aimed to provide typical spelling, meaning, and often pronunciation, etymology, synonyms, and quotations. A New English Dictionary was an important advance reflecting everyday language compiled by the […]

St. Audrey Etheldrida

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Medicine is full of strange tales, some with unforeseen ramifications. I recently discovered that the origins of the useful word “tawdry” surprisingly lay in a tumor of the throat—nature unspecified—of a seventh-century saint. St. Audrey, Etheldrida, or Æþelðryþ, born c. 636 AD, was an English princess generally referred to […]

William Halse Rivers Rivers

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Figure 1 WHR Rivers in public domain, from Wikimedia William Rivers MD FRCP FRS (1864-1922) William Rivers (Fig 1) was a most unusual man, a polymath with careers in neuroscience, ethnology, and psychology. But above all—notwithstanding or perhaps because of personal nervous constraints—he was a man of originality and great […]

The Valsalva maneuver

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Valsalva’s maneuver. Source It is a paradox that the discovery of the Valsalva maneuver did not relate to cardiovascular physiology but to the treatment of discharges from the ear. Valsalva’s maneuver is now used physiologically1 to test cardiac and autonomic function, and in several other diagnostic and […]

Jean-Paul Marat, physician and revolutionary

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1: Death of Marat. Jacques-Louis David. 1793. Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Via Wikimedia. The murder of the notorious Jean-Paul Marat in his bath in July 1793 by Charlotte Corday is a tale where revolution, art, and medicine each played a part. When the commoners stormed the […]

Somerset Maugham

JMS Pearce  Hull, England   Fig 1. Somerset Maugham by Graham Sutherland, black chalk, pencil and gouache, 1953. NPG 5327 I have two professions, not one. Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress; when I get tired of one I spend the night with the other. -Anton Chekov, 1888 As a graduate […]

How Britain rescued scientists from Nazi tyranny

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Signatories to Letter to The Times, 22 May 1933 In March 1933 while visiting Vienna, William Beveridge, Director of the London School of Economics, learned that Hitler had just decreed it illegal for “non-Aryan,” mostly Jewish people to hold posts in the Civil Service. Many lawyers, doctors, and […]