Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: love

  • The vulnerability of love

    Florence GeloPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States On Thanksgiving Day, I watch my niece Jenn with her seven-month-old daughter Laila playing on the living room floor. Jenn’s gaze has never left Laila despite the commotion nearby made by family who are setting the table for dinner, moving furniture to add additional chairs. The kitchen is lively. Utensils…

  • Love as illness: Symptomatology

    Frank Gonzalez-CrussiChicago, Illinois, United States Is love a disease? I mean erotic, obsessive, knees-a-trembling, passionate love. This is a question on which philosophers have descanted interminably. So have anthropologists, physicians, poets, and, in short, all those who suffer what Juvenal called insanabile cacoethes scribendi1 (“the incurable mania of writing”). All these have set forth their…

  • Furniture of bones

    D. Brendan JohnsonMinneapolis, Minnesota, United States “Would you like the new patient?” My senior resident offered me the next admission, a patient being stabilized in the emergency department after a suicide attempt. As a fresh medical student in the beginning of my clinical education, I quickly said yes, plucked up my courage, and went to…

  • Janus

    Dahlia Mukherjee Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States   Janus. Original work by Dahlia Mukherjee I was walking back home from school with my friend. It was a typical gloomy English day with the grey clouds swirling menacingly on top of us threatening rain. We were excitedly talking about my friend’s birthday party next Saturday in her backyard.…

  • Motivation at work

    Migel Jayasinghe UK This article was previously published by the author with EZineArticles in 2010. It has been edited by Hektoen International staff and republished here with the author’s permission. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Art by Chiquo. CC BY-SA 4.0. Via Wikimedia. After the industrial revolution, large numbers of workers were needed in mills and factories to mass produce goods…

  • Tobias and the Angel—Miracle or medical?

    Elizabeth Colledge Jacksonville, Florida, United States Admirers of Andrea del Verrocchio’s painting Tobias and the Angel (circa 1470–1475) may be unaware of the purpose of Tobias’s journey with the archangel Raphael. The Book of Tobit in the Apocrypha posits a story of love and not-so-miraculous healing in seventh century B.C. Nineveh. Tobit, a devout Hebrew, suffers…

  • A moonie

    Simon WeinPetach Tikvah, Israel Wally Moon was a legend who stood at least 1.90 meters tall. The most striking things about him were his appearance and his gruffness. When I met him during my residency he was in his early sixties. He had a magnificent girth, fuelled by quantities of non-politically correct food—even then in…

  • How we love

    Linda ClarkeGuelph, Ontario, Canada The communities of health care and medicine are richly storied. For almost three decades, I have invited people in those communities to tell me their stories and they have been generous in their telling. A story told can be image-laden and many of those images become part of my own story.…

  • Rethinking the impulse to empathize: a sister’s perspective on sympathy and stigma

    Jeanne Farnan Pennsylvania, United States   Mary Cassatt, Mother Combing Sara’s Hair, 1901. Private collection. Web Gallery of Impressionism “I am so sorry.” My youngest sister, Annie, was born during the spring semester of my first year of high school. These four words are etched into my memory, integrally intertwined with the events of that…

  • When there’s no plug to pull

    Darcy Sternberg New York, New York, United States   On the Waves of Love. Edvard Munch, printed by Otto Felsing. 1896. The Art Institute of Chicago. At night I lie awake on the living room sofa staring at the moon, envying its constancy. Change had eaten up our lives. My husband, Marty, and I met…