Tag Archives: & Obstetrics

Obstetrical fistula: a malady hidden by shame

Layla A. Al-Jailani Yemen   Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels Nouria strolls across the kitchen, making lunch for her family as she does every day. Her stride is slightly wobbly, but any observer would think this was a healthy young woman. What they do not see, however, is the hidden anguish, pain, and shame […]

Medical school final exams: playing the odds

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Five men toast around a table. Unknown photographer. between circa 1890 and circa 1910. Nordic Museum NMA.0057916. Via Wikimedia I had finished eighteen months of clinical rotations at an American hospital and was back at my medical school in Belgium to take final exams. I checked in to a small […]

A brief life

Andrea Eisenberg  Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, United States   Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash  I felt his legs wiggling in the sac of warm fluid surrounding him. His body was so tiny, his kicks were like a feather passing across my fingers. But his warm, dark world was about to slip away. Did he already sense it? Or […]

Traditional obstetrics in Isaan, Thailand

Khwan Phusrisom Durham, United Kingdom   Fig 1. The house in which I was born. Births were in a living room, far left. The natal hearth was under the roofed veranda. Sketch by author, ©. May be reproduced for non-commercial purpose Traditional midwifery and the culture of birth in Isaan, Northeast Thailand, may hold lessons for the prevention […]

Heartbreak in the nursery

Shruthi Ravishankar Chennai, India   Image description: Cherry red spot as seen in Tay Sachs disease. The center of the fovea appears bright red because it is surrounded by a milky halo. Photo by Jonathan Trobe, MD. 6 September 2011. Public Domain. Source I began the long drive to the pediatric hospital on a route peppered […]

A birth remembered

F. Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. The Birth of Benjamin and the Death of Rachel, by Francesco Furini (1600 or 1603-1646). Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Memory is to old age as presbyopia (far-sightedness) is to eyesight. Presbyopia makes you lose the ability to see clearly at a normal near […]

Becoming a doctor in Chicago (c.1954)—Clerkships at Michael Reese Hospital

Peter Berczeller Edited by Paul Berczeller An excerpt from Dr. Peter Berczeller’s memoir, The Little White Coat.   Michael Reese Hospital. Postcard by Curt Teich. 1950. No known copyright for Curt Teich postcards printed before 1964. After Cook County, my group and I moved over to Michael Reese Hospital—a pile of old buildings on the […]

James Simpson, who made childbirth painless

A large jolly man with broad shoulders, large hands, blue eyes, and a charismatic personality, James Young Simpson was said to have been the most popular man in Edinburgh since the death of Sir Walter Scott.1 Born in 1811 at Bathgate, he was the seventh son of a village baker in a poor family housed in […]

A mother’s voice

Kelsey Hart Denver, Colorado, United States   The trappings of NICU life; a mother’s view her daughter and the equipment needed to help her live and grow. Photo credit: James Hart I sit in the blue plastic recliner, coping with the familiar feeling of boredom and anxiety by flicking through a game on my phone. My […]

A history of breastfeeding and wet nurses

Nursan Cinar Sumeyra Topal Sinem Yalnizoglu Caka Sakarya, Turkey   The bond established with the milk never breaks off even if years passed. Wet nurse’s own son (at left) and milk son. Photo by Sümeyra Topal. Breastfeeding has been vital to life since the beginning of humanity. For infants who are unable to get this unique […]