Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

The remarkable Harriet Lane

Colin K. L. Phoon New York, New York, United States   Figure 1. Harriet Lane, accessed from the Library of Congress 09/05/2021, The name “Harriet Lane” is well-known to many pediatricians, but perhaps fewer recognize this woman’s other roles in US history (Hint: She was not a pediatrician!). In fact, the US presidency, the military, […]

Atypical appendectomies

Jayant Radhakrishnan Nathaniel Koo Chicago, Illinois, United States   The Silversides Appendectomy was photographed by XO Roy Davenport, at the patient’s head. Thomas Moore is the dark-haired bearded man in the T-shirt. From the USS Flier Project. Appendectomies are routine procedures—until they are not. Three cases of auto-surgery and three other semi-pro appendectomies are worth […]

The “Ether Controversy”

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Warren and Morton’s operation in the Ether Dome, restaged with Mass General physicians assuming the roles of the original participants. Warren Zapol, MD, chief of anesthesia and critical care, starred as Dr. Morton, while Philip Kistler, MD, director of the Mass General stroke unit, played Dr. Warren. […]

General Robert E Lee’s myocardial infarction: did illness impact the Battle of Gettysburg?

Lloyd Klein San Francisco, California, United States   Robert E Lee in March 1864. Julian Vannerson, photographer, after 1875. No known restrictions on publication. From the Library of Congress. Ascribing the loss of the Battle of Gettysburg to an illness of General Robert E. Lee became common among historians thirty years ago. The legend of […]

In praise of swimming: from Benjamin Franklin to Oliver Sacks

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Oliver Sacks as a young child with his father. Courtesy of the Oliver Sacks Foundation. Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was not a physician, but many thought he was so-trained and referred to him as “Doctor” Franklin. After accepting an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in […]

Best friends for never

Ariya Mobaraki Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Three people contemplate the cadaver of Saint Petronilla. Etching by James Basire, 1764, after Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, il Guercino… Credit: Wellcome Collection.  (CC BY 4.0) I stand looking over you, Wishing I could turn back time. Wondering what wisdom you would give me, Back in your prime.   […]

Being our best selves: hidden in full view

James Stoller Peter Rea Alan Kolp Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Figure 1. Pillars and pediment We live in a paradox framed by a tension between age-old wisdom about excellence and our current state. The paradox is this: our behaviors and our priorities are often at odds with age-old truths about how we can be […]

Dr. Fanny Halpern, a psychiatric go-between of 1930s Shanghai

Richard Zhang Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   “Dr. F.G. Halpern” in an advertisement for the Puci Sanatorium in the Shen Bao, September 20, 1935. source On September 20, 1935, a lengthy advertisement in one of Shanghai’s most popular newspapers, the Shen Bao, celebrated the recent opening of the Shanghai Puci Sanatorium (上海普濨療養院).1 The sanatorium would […]

A case of toxic blood

Shruthi Deivasigamani Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   The Dancing Mania by Hendrick Hondius (1642). Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY On a blustery winter day, a molecule of water condenses around a particle of dust in the air. The structure grows in size as it falls closer to earth, and before it hits the ground outside, it has […]

The woman doctor as medical and moral authority: Helen Brent MD

Carol-Ann Farkas Boston, Massachussetts, United States   In the late nineteenth century, many women who dared to study and practice medicine tempered that radical move with the reassuring insistence that, by virtue of their sex, they could combine medical knowledge with feminine, maternal guidance for the physical and moral well-being of their patients. The gender […]