Tag Archives: Oxford

Thomas Sydenham, “The English Hippocrates”

JMS Pearce East Yorks, UK   Fig 1. Thomas Sydenham. Abraham Blooteling after Mary Beale – portrait of Thomas Sydenham 8-B-47-Med Source Still Fever burns, and all her skill defies Till Sydenham’s wisdom plays a double part, Quells the disease and helps the failing Art. -from a poem on plague by John Locke, 1668   […]

Doctor Johnson and his ailments

Samuel Johnson, L.L.D. ca.1770. Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru – The National Library of Wales. Public Domain Samuel Johnson, one of the greatest English literary figures of all time, is remembered more for what he said than for what he wrote. Other writers may have been more successful or more profound, but none had as great a […]

Science versus religion: the medieval disenchantment

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. An engraving showing a monopod or sclapod, a female Cyclops, conjoined twins, a blemmye, and a cynocephali. By Sebastian Münster 1544. Source History is a novel whose author is the people. -Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863)   In medieval times, knowledge, beliefs, and faith were largely centered upon a […]

Theme

EPIDEMICS Published in March, 2020 H E K T O R A M A   . The recent coronavirus outbreak inevitably brings to mind the Spanish flu, the deadly influenza pandemic of a century ago. Here we republish seven articles about this devastating viral disease that spread to the four corners of the world, killing […]

John Arbuthnot: physician, wit, and creator of John Bull

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Portrait of Arbuthnot on reprint of John Bull In the light of recent British parliamentary chaos, by chance I discovered this irresistible quotation: “All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies” -John Arbuthnot At a time when in most westernized countries physicians and […]

Wilder Penfield

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Wilder Penfield, Stamp Wilder Penfield was not only a great surgeon and a great scientist, he was an even greater human being. -Sir George Pickering, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University   Wilder Penfield (1891-1976) (Fig. 1) was the most gifted pioneer of Canadian neurosurgery. […]

An emperor unclothed: the virtuous Osler

Patrick Fiddes Paul A. Komesaroff Melbourne, Australia   William Osler at Oxford. Apart from Hippocrates himself, William Osler was among the most praised physicians of all time. Like his Greek forerunner, Osler amassed a huge following of loyal supporters, for whom he could evidently do no wrong. One went so far as to suggest that […]