Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Ophthalmology

  • Beyond the scope

    Nathan CannonHershey, Pennsylvania, United States Hushed hum of voices. Open, dimly lit room. Slit lamps gliding, knobs turning, lenses gently flashing. Clinical officers hard at work, diagnosing, assessing, treating. “Next!” I am seated beside the attending, a retina specialist. Together, we have been seeing his patients, who have had a remarkable array of corneal transplants,…

  • Book review: Greco-Roman Medicine and What it Can Teach Us Today

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom The Republic of Rome was founded in the sixth century BC. In the third century BC, the western Roman Empire began to spread outside the borders of Italy. Roman rule came to Britain in AD 43 with the invasion by Claudius and ended in AD 476. The eastern Roman Empire,…

  • The good, the bad, and the regrettable

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Man . . . cannot learn to forget, but hangs on the past: however far or fast he runs, that chain runs with him.” — Frederick Nietzsche   Lab coat and scrubs. Photo by Samir. 2006. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. What follows is a description of different aspects of…

  • Albert C. Barnes, MD: the physician who spun silver into gold

    Sylvia Karasu New York, New York, United States   Argyrol, the compound developed by Dr. Albert C. Barnes and Dr. Hermann Hille to treat ophthalmia neonatorum, a conjunctivitis that led to blindness in newborns then caused by gram-negative gonococcus bacteria. Infection was contracted from mothers during vaginal delivery. Credit: Argyrol bottle, c. 1902-1907, Barnes &…

  • Dirty, dark, dangerous: coal miners’ nystagmus

    Ronald Fishman Chicago, Illinois, United States   A coal miner without a headlamp digging an undercut at the coal face, using only the dim light supplied by a small flame lamp. From Snell 12 It’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew, Where the danger is double and pleasures are few Where the rain…

  • Georg Bartisch, early Renaissance eye-surgeon

    Georg Bartisch (1535–1607) became an apprentice to a barber-surgeon at age thirteen, followed by two additional apprenticeships to an oculist and a lithotomist. He worked as itinerant surgeon in Germany and Bohemia, but eventually become court oculist to Duke Augustus I of Saxony in Dresden. A highly superstitious man, he believed in astronomy and witchcraft,…

  • Konrad Langenbeck 1776-1851

    Son of a pastor, Konrad Johann Martin Langenbeck attended medical school in Jena, Germany, from 1794 to 1798, then practiced surgery in his home town of Horneburg. There he was so successful in carrying out eye operations that he received a stipend from the then court of Hanover for further studies in Vienna and Wurzburg.…

  • Pig-tail probe

    Zeynel Karcioglu Charlottesville, Virginia, United States   A cartoon by the author comparing the tails and depicting the probe in question. I read with great interest Dr. Stanley Gutiontov’s article entitled “Pig man: pigs in medicine from Galen to transgenic xenotransplantation” in Hektoen International, and it reminded me of an amusing “pig-related” experience I had…

  • Portraits of vision: Sir Joshua Reynolds

    Sally MetzlerChicago, Illinois, United States The subject of this portrait wears wiry, diminutive round spectacles, lending a distinctly pedantic flair. Yet gazing out is none other than Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), one of the greatest English painters in history (fig. 1). Sir Joshua headed the Royal Academy of Painters for twenty-four years, and wielded enormous…