Tag Archives: Martin Duke

Maxwell Finland: expert in infectious diseases

Martin Duke Mystic, Connecticut, United States   Maxwell Finland in the senior yearbook from the Harvard Class Album 1922. (Credit: HUD 322.04 page 181. Harvard University Archives.) Maxwell Finland (1902-1987) was a remarkable physician, teacher, and researcher in infectious diseases. His life began during the turmoil of the pogroms in Tsarist Russia and ended in […]

Medicinal leeches in art and literature

Martin Duke Mystic, Connecticut, United States   Figure 1. Woman applying a leech to her forearm. A large jar containing leeches is next to her. Belgium woodcut by Guillaume van den Bossche, 1639: National Library of Medicine Unique ID: 2315020R. For more than two thousand years, the extraordinary blood-sucking abilities of the medicinal leech (Hirudo […]

A house call

Martin Duke Mystic, Connecticut, USA   A doctor visiting a sick woman, and taking her pulse. Many years ago, in the mid 1980s, when I was still in clinical practice, I made a house call accompanied by a second year medical student who was coming to my office one day a week as part of […]

Distant memories of medical school – 1950-1954

Martin Duke Mystic, Connecticut, USA   The New York University School of Medicine, 28th Street Building on First Avenue, New York City, opposite Bellevue Hospital, circa 1951. How sweet the silent backward tracings! The wanderings as in dreams—the meditation of old times resumed—their loves, joys, persons, voyages. —Memories by Walt Whitman (1819-1892) 1   It […]

Tobias Smollett, MD: his medical life and experiences

Martin Duke Mystic, Connecticut, United States Every generation seems to produce its share of physicians and surgeons who are remembered for their literary accomplishments—Avicenna and Maimonides in the middle ages, Rabelais during the French Renaissance, Thomas Browne in the 17th century and Keats and Goldsmith in the 18th century.  Anton Chekhov, Arthur Conan Doyle, Axel […]

A Teacher Remembered

Martin Duke “Ludwig W Eichna, MD, NYU Medical Violet 1950. Image courtesy of the Lillian and Clarence de la Chapelle Medical Archives at NYU. While a student in medical school during the early 1950s, I was assigned by chance to the medical service of Dr. Ludwig Eichna at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital (Figure 1). […]

A fortunate man

Martin Duke Mystic, Connecticut, USA   Earlier in the week the last patients were seen, their records given to them or sent to their new physicians, and the final farewells were said. The movers have left, and the office is now empty except for an old cast-iron medicine cabinet, a pencil sharpener attached to the […]

I Am the Very Model of an Up-to-Date Physician

Martin Duke, MD Mystic, Connecticut, USA Poet’s statement: Perhaps the most memorable moments of Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera presentations occur in their humorous patter songs, usually written as a rapid succession of rhythmic patterns and tongue-twisting lyrics sung at a fast tempo. With due apologies to the lyricist Sir William S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and […]