Tag Archives: Philadelphia

Not just for the sake of ourselves

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   The Fatal Wounding of Sir Philip Sidney, 1806, Benjamin West, Woodmere Art Museum, Bequest of Charles Knox Smith The Fatal Wounding of Sir Philip Sidney is a painting that I have used often to teach close looking to medical and theological students. The painting is full of details: […]

America’s first bronchoscopist

J. Gordon Frierson Palo Alto, California, United States   Autographed portrait of Chevalier Jackson. Wellcome Collection. CC BY 4.0. One day, in the tough coal-mining city of Pittsburgh of the early 1900s, two Sisters of Mercy brought an emaciated, severely dehydrated, seven-year-old girl to a doctor’s office. Sometime earlier the girl had swallowed lye, thinking […]

The vulnerability of love

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Breakfast in Bed, Mary Cassatt, 1897, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of the Virginia Steele Scott Foundation. Courtesy of the Huntington Art Museum, San Marino, California. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. On Thanksgiving Day, I watch my niece Jenn with her seven-month-old daughter Laila playing […]

How black turned white

Kateryna Tsoi Kharkiv, Ukraine   The Gross Clinic, 1875. By Thomas Eakins. Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Via Wikimedia. In 1876, the World’s Fair was held outside Europe for the first time, taking place in Philadelphia and coinciding with the centenary of the US Declaration of Independence. Thomas Eakins, not yet a […]

The history of polio and cigarettes, and the need for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Daniel Gelfman Indianapolis, Indiana, United States   Polio Vaccine and Fundraising Matchbook. Photograph at the Science History Institute, Philadelphia. Photo Credit: Daniel Gelfman, July 3, 2021. Depicted in this display (Picture 1) at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia are technologic marvels. The first is a box that contained early vials of Dr. Salk’s formalin […]

One chaplain’s journey: teaching, hospice, and humanities

Terry McIntyre Forest Park, Illinois, United States   Photo by Ave Calvar on Unsplash Auburn University was an easy choice for a graduate student with two preschool youngsters. Teaching medieval literature was the draw. Later, a divorce necessitated working as a project manager in sub-contracting. When the Lutheran campus pastor in Ann Arbor wanted me […]

The amnesic jokester

Jason Brandt Baltimore, Maryland, United States   Black-and-white drawing of a man scratching his head, from The Evening Ledger, Philadelphia, May 4 1916. scanned by Open Clip Art Library user Johnny Automatic. Via Wikimedia Bob T. had suffered a stroke. Not the kind of massive, devastating stroke that left him bereft of language (aphasia), or […]

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.   […]

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 & […]