Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Medical Humanities

  • Winnie Ille Pu and Dr. Alexander Lenard

    Avi OhryTel Aviv, Israel Sandor (Alexander) Lenard1 was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1910 and died in Dona Irma, Santa Catarina, Brazil in 1972. He was a Jewish poet, author, physician, painter, musician, translator, language teacher, philosopher, and polyglot. A short outline of Lenard’s life events could be summarized as follows: Hungary, medical studies in…

  • A detailed depiction of a “crime scene” circa 1455

    Daniel GelfmanIndianapolis, Indiana, United States The use of forensic science to determine the etiology and manner of death has been attempted for millennia. Early autopsies involved inspection of the deceased individual and possibly an internal examination. The performance of autopsies has been greatly influenced by religious and political forces.1 There is a record of the…

  • Occupational lung malignancies: Role of malachite

    Tamas F. MolnarKatalin AknaiHungary To this very day, malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains a serious oncologic, public health, and industrial challenge, a fatal disease in which standard chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy has done little to increase the chance of survival.1-6 While the role of asbestos exposure in the pathogenesis of the disease is seemingly…

  • The revolution of Abraham Flexner and its aftermath

    Unlike his brother Simon, who became a celebrated infectious diseases specialist and director of the Rockefeller Institute, Abraham Flexner was mainly interested in culture and education. He also grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, where his father had ended up after an odyssey that had taken him from Bohemia to Strasbourg, to New York, to New…

  • Girolamo Cardano: Renaissance physician and polymath

    Born at Pavia in the duchy of Lombardy in 1501, Girolamo Cardano practiced medicine for fifty years but is remembered chiefly as a polymath. He composed 200 works, made important contributions to mathematics and algebra, invented several mechanical devices (some still in use today), and published extensive philosophical tracts and commentaries on the ancient philosophers…

  • “Looking at … Looking away”: A challenging and vital skill

    Florence GeloPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, USA For nearly a decade, I have used images of paintings to teach students in health care professions how to cultivate the skills of looking while learning to recognize their own feelings and those of others. Most recently, I have been concerned with how emotions compel us to look away. Inspired by…

  • “Do I look gay to you?”

    Elena HillNew York, United States When I first went to Tijuana to the US-Mexican border to volunteer as a physician, I was expecting to see women fleeing abuse, men escaping gang violence, and families pursuing a better life. I was not expecting to see a large LGBTQ population. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense that…

  • Abraham Colles—giant among surgeons

    Abraham Colles. Source. Abraham Colles was born in Kilkenny in Ireland in 1773. The story has it that as a boy he found an anatomy book in a field after a flood had destroyed a doctor’s house. He took the book to his owner, a Dr. Butler, who, finding he was so interested in it,…

  • Another look at the medical problems of Jean-Paul Marat: searching for a unitary diagnosis

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   L’Assassinat de Marat / Charlotte Corday. Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry. 1860. Musée d’Arts de Nantes. Via Wikimedia. Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793) was a practicing physician, scientist, and a leader of the French Revolution. He also suffered from a chronic, intractable skin condition, which troubled the last five years of his life. A tormenting…

  • My very own back pain

    Andrew BamjiRye, East Sussex, UK As a rheumatologist, now retired, I spent a good portion of my working life dealing with patients who had back pain. I reckoned over the course of thirty-three years in the specialty that I had back pain largely nailed. I developed an algorithm which enabled me to determine, with what…