Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Panama

  • Palo Seco: A leper colony in Panama

    Enrique Chaves-CarballoOverland Park, Kansas The history of leprosy goes back to antiquity and is replete with unscientific prejudices, including the belief that the disease was highly contagious. Therefore, lepers were ostracized from society. It was not until the nineteenth century that Armauer Hansen (1841–1912), a Norwegian physician versed in histopathology, published in 1874 his findings…

  • “Panama disease”: A pandemic…for bananas

    Elizabeth RudaChicago, Illinois, United States The average person does not go to the grocery store, look around the produce section, and think, “Wow, these foods could be extinct within the next few years.” Yet extinction is possible in the case of the most common cultivar of banana sold today, the Cavendish.1 At the same time…

  • The navel of the world: belly buttons, innies and outies

    John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Rounded stones near Ahu Te Pito Kura on the north-eastern coast of Easter Island. Thought to symbolize the “center of the world” to the culture of the Polynesian people who first arrived at the island. 2013. Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 In…

  • Origin of yellow fever

    Enrique Chaves-Carballo Kansas City, Kansas, United States The origin of yellow fever has been a controversial subject since the disease appeared in the New World. William C. Gorgas, who was responsible for the sanitation of Cuba and Panama, believed that yellow fever originated in Panama.1 Henry R. Carter, from the U.S. Marine Hospital Service and director…

  • Carlos J. Finlay: The mosquito man

    Enrique Chaves-Carballo Kansas City, Kansas, United States Portrait Dr. Carlos J. Finlay. From Images History of Medicine (IHM), National Library of Medicine. Carlos Juan Finlay was born in Puerto Príncipe (now Camagüey), Cuba, on December 3, 1833. He was sent to Europe to complete his secondary education but was forced to return to Cuba after…

  • The Emberá of Panama

    L. J. Sandlow George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   The Emberá are an indigenous people who live near the Panama-Columbia border. There are about 33,000 living in Darién, Panama, and 50,000 in Colombia. Until 1960 most lived in extended family settlements along the rivers. Since the 60s many have moved together into small villages,…

  • Darling of Panama

    Enrique Chaves-Carballo Kansas City, Kansas, United States Samuel Taylor Darling, widely considered as the foremost American tropical parasitologist and pathologist of his time, was born in Harrison, New Jersey on April 6, 1872. He studied medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Baltimore, graduating in 1903 at the top of his class and…

  • Theme

    TRAVEL AND MEDICINE Published  in December, 2019 H E K T O R A M A   .     DOCTOR MOORE IN ITALY     Moore, a practicing physician in Glasgow with a good reputation, was offered an opportunity to travel. Like other prominent noblemen of his day, the young Duke of Hamilton was…

  • Theme

    LATIN AMERICA Published in September, 2019 H E K T O R A M A   . AFRICAN AMERICAN MEDICAL PIONEERS The first hospital in the Americas was built by Fray Nicolás de Ovando from 1503 to 1508 in Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti). Named Hospital de San Nicolás de Bari (I), it was located in…

  • William Gorgas – Life and medical legacy

    Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States Portrait of William C. Gorgas. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. The Panama Canal Zone in the early 1900s was described as “one of the must unhealthful places in the world.”1 Ridden with mosquitoes, the Isthmus of Panama was a hotbed of yellow fever, malaria, and pneumonia. Previous efforts…