Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Mikhail Bulgakov

  • Medical and literary coupling

    Stephen Finn South Africa   (To be read aloud, with gusto and with a strong beat) Collage created by Hektoen staff. Images from left to right. Top row: Portrait of Rabelais, circa 1820. By Louis-François Durrans. From the Rabelais Museum, via Wikimedia; Anton Chekhov, via Wikimedia. Center: Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash Bottom…

  • Franz Kafka, A Country Doctor, (and Bob Dylan)

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Certainly doctors are stupid, or rather, they’re not more stupid than other people but their pretensions are ridiculous; [but] you have to reckon with the fact that they become more and more stupid the moment you come into their clutches . . .”— Franz Kafka1 Franz Kafka (1883–1924), a German speaking Czech,…

  • Suffering and empathy in the stories of Anton Chekhov and their relevance to healthcare today

    Peter McCannLondon  Throughout his life, Anton Chekhov was often faced with the reality of suffering in human existence. His family’s bankruptcy and life of poverty in Moscow influenced young Anton’s thoughts about suffering and degradation in society, and his brief period of medical practice in Moscow provided him with enough experience to write over 150…

  • The tracheotomy

    Michelle Paff Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States The transformation of a medical student into a physician is depicted in the short story The Steel Windpipe (1925) by the Russian physician and author Mikhail Bulgakov. A young practitioner is stationed alone at a rural hospital, and one snowy evening he is approached by a woman with her dying…