Tag Archives: New York

Being our best selves: hidden in full view

James Stoller Peter Rea Alan Kolp Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Figure 1. Pillars and pediment We live in a paradox framed by a tension between age-old wisdom about excellence and our current state. The paradox is this: our behaviors and our priorities are often at odds with age-old truths about how we can be […]

Ahab’s gift: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and the meaning of pain

Xi Chen Rochester, New York, United States   A whale being speared with harpoons by fishermen in the arctic sea. Engraving by A. M. Fournier after E. Traviès. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) In the summer months before my first year of medical school, I unfurled the pages of Moby Dick. Immersed […]

The search for Eisenhower’s adrenal tumor

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1. Letter to KRL from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology For most Americans, the knowledge of Dwight Eisenhower’s health history is limited to the fact that he had a serious heart attack while president. However, a seemingly casual comment by a non-physician political scientist, Robert […]

Dr. Peabody, the ideal medical practitioner

Rachel Bright Kevin Qosja Liam Butchart Stony Brook, New York, United States   Embankment by Rachel Whiteread. Turbine Hall, The Tate Modern, Bankside, London. 12 November 2005. Photo by Fin Fahey. In part inspired by the aftermath of her mother’s death, the white boxes are reminiscent of the many boxes the artist had to pack […]

The hunt for a yellow fever therapy

Edward McSweegen Kingston, Rhode Island, United States   Roux’s syringe for delivering antitoxin, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia  Source In March 2020, a research group in China reported the use of convalescent plasma to treat ten patients suffering from coronavirus COVID-19 infections.1 This type of therapy—passive immunization—dates back to 1891 when the German bacteriologist Emil […]

Karl Landsteiner and the discovery of blood groups

Safia Benaissa Mostganem, Algeria   Karl Landsteiner (1868–1943), Austrian pathologist, hematologist and serologist; discoverer of the blood groups. Albert Hilscher. circa 1910. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons Karl Landsteiner was the Austrian scientist who recognized that humans had different blood groups and made it possible for physicians to transfuse blood safely. He entered medical school at […]

The smartest vampire story

Alice Theibault Rochester, New York, United States   181. Silhouette of traditional Japanese grave markers, found on Flickr Creative Commons. Nachans, June 28, 2011. There is something uniquely terrifying about vampires. The concept of a nocturnal creature showing up at one’s home to suck their blood is enough to make just about anyone uneasy, and […]

The sight of blood

Joanne Jacobson New York, New York, United States   Human plasma protein solution in bottle, Hertfordshire, Engl. Credit: Science Museum, London. CC BY None of us live to adulthood without seeing our own blood—growing up, I witnessed my blood flow free of my body too many times to count. The bleeding knee picked clean of leaves and […]

History repeated: child abuse in the United States

Joseph deBettencourt Chicago, Illinois, United States   U.S. Border Patrol agents conduct intake of illegal border crossers at the Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, Sunday, June 17, 2018. Q: Did you see any place for this child to sleep in? A: No, Sir, except in one corner. The child told me she slept up […]

Camus, Meursault, and the Biopsychosocial Model

Liam Butchart Stony Brook, New York   Sunset on the Sea. John Frederick Kensett. 1872. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since the development of medical literature studies in the 1970s, the field has grown and expanded in many fascinating ways.1 For example, courses in medical schools now encourage students to examine their own biases and […]