Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: patients

  • Brief encounters

    Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Quicksilver in blue. Photo by Anthony Papagiannis. Doctor-patient relationships are as unique as the potential pairs of doctors and patients. At one end of the spectrum there is the one-time encounter, usually for some straightforward and self-limiting problem: the doctor may never see the patient again. At the other extreme,…

  • How we love

    Linda ClarkeGuelph, Ontario, Canada The communities of health care and medicine are richly storied. For almost three decades, I have invited people in those communities to tell me their stories and they have been generous in their telling. A story told can be image-laden and many of those images become part of my own story.…

  • What’s hormones got to do with it? The medicalization of menopause in postwar America

    Pavane GorrepatiIowa City, Iowa, United States Introduction From menstruation to menopause, there appears to be a deliberate and constant medicalization of the stages of a woman’s life. Menopause, a biological process every woman experiences, has been cast in a negative light, a time to be wary rather than to be celebrated. This has led the…

  • Burnout

    Ronald Rembert Chicago, Illinois, United States   Sarasota Sunset, courtesy of author. 2005. I was assigned to work at Cook County Hospital for my emergency room (ER) clerkship in my third year of medical school. “Whoa, that place is crazy . . . you will see a lot a people there,” I was told by…

  • Dialogues of comfort

    Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   Roman copy of a bust of Homer, 2nd century AD, British Museum, London. My patient is a veteran physician, quite advanced in years but mentally lucid and fully aware of his condition. His disease is incurable, and he is in need of a chest aspiration for symptomatic relief of his breathlessness.…

  • Flyfishing and medicine

    James Stoller Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Photo by Jeff Smith I am one of the many doctors who relish the zen of flyfishing. Standing in a stream, reading the clues for what type of fly to cast and where to cast it, and focusing incessantly on a dry fly drifting lithely to entice a…

  • Shadowing Artists on the Wards: an undergraduate, arts-based medical elective

    Pamela Brett-MacLean Michelle Casavant Shirley Serviss Alyssa Cruz Edmonton, Canada   Shirley Serviss, Artist on the Wards, 2011 Stephen Wreakes, Medical Photographer. University of Alberta Hospital, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton. Medicine is frequently described as both an art and science, with science focused on objective, technical knowledge (competency, or cure) and the artistic elements focused…

  • When the doctor is the patient

    Saleh AldasouqiEast Lansing, Michigan, United States I looked at my fingers, tender after a few glucose finger sticks to the middle and ring fingers of both hands, wondering which fingers to use the next day. No matter how user-friendly blood glucose testing devices have become, finger pricking remains a painful experience that patients with diabetes…

  • First blood

    John Graham-PoleAntigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, 1970: I’m astounded I’ve landed one of the coveted G.O.S. senior resident jobs. The academic nature of the place immediately daunts me. Everyone bows down to its status as the foremost pediatric research hospital in Europe, perhaps in the world, the faculty…

  • Defined spaces

    Heather AlvaPalo Alto, California, United States “We’re already seeing signs of damage in the retina, but honestly, don’t worry about retinopathy; there have been so many recent medical advancements that I’m sure they’ll find a cure for diabetes in the next ten years.” You smile and nod. You don’t tell the optometrist that a doctor,…