Tag Archives: Philip R. Liebson

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AMERICAN HEART PIONEERS Published in November, 2019 H E K T O R A M A     .     ALFRED BLALOCK & VIVIEN THOMAS     1930 Nashville. A twenty-year old African American man, honors student, and son of a carpenter had his eyes set on becoming a physician. This was not unfounded. […]

Citizen Zinsser: portrait of a Renaissance man

Philip R. Liebson In the September 16, 1940 issue of TIME Magazine an intriguing obituary was found: After a patient wait, death came last week to Hans Zinsser, bacteriologist, physician, philosopher, poet, ironist, historian, raconteur. At 61, he died of chronic leukemia, a slow-moving, mysterious disease of the blood for which there is no known […]

The sweating sickness in Tudor England: a plague of the Renaissance

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Portrait of Henry VIII, c. 1537 Hans Holbein the Younger Oil on canvas 11” × 8” Introduction In the recent semi-fictional work by Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall, which takes place in the early 16th century, the protagonist Thomas Cromwell, counsel and henchman of Henry VIII, awakens in […]

Paul Dudley White

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   In September 1955 President Dwight Eisenhower suffered a myocardial infarction. Dr. Paul Dudley White (1886–1973) was called in to attend to him. For a time, Dr. White was probably the most famous cardiologist in the US because of his attendance to the president. A noted photograph of […]

Samuel A. Levine

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   In an era where the use of imaging and other technological testing frequently takes the place of bedside diagnosis, it is intriguing to recall the state of cardiovascular diagnosis when the clinician relied on his or her eyes, ears, and hands—with a little help from the stethoscope […]

Christiaan Barnard and the first heart transplant

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Christiaan Barnard (1922—2001) In 1968 while I was a cardiology fellow at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, there was a buzz of excitement—Christiaan Barnard was coming to talk about his heart transplants! Our chief cardiovascular surgeon at the time was C. Walton Lillehei, no slouch of […]

Adrian Kantrowitz: the IABA and the LVAD

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States Adrian Kantrowitz (1918-1998)   I first met Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz at my fourth-year surgery oral examination. He was one of three interviewers, and although I was sure that I failed the exam, he assured me that I had done well. I next met him almost 10 years later […]

Cournand and Richards: pioneers in cardiopulmonary physiology

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Andre Cournand (1895—1988) Dickinson W. Richards, Jr. (1895—1973) During World War I among the allied forces were an artillery lieutenant just out of college and a medical student who acted as an auxiliary battle surgeon because of the high mortality among battalion surgeons. They were, respectively, Dickinson […]

The electrocardiographic diagnosis of myocardial ischemia and infarction: 1917-1942

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Although myocardial infarction and angina pectoris had been recognized as serious heart conditions associated with sudden death since the 19th century (based primarily on patient symptoms of chest pain and pathologic correlations of involvement primarily of the left ventricle), James B. Herrick’s classic 1912 paper on the […]

The early history of anticoagulants: 1915–1948

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Dedicated to the memories of Irving S. Wright and Stephen S. Scheidt, former colleagues at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center. Much of the background for this essay was provided by the Mueller-Scheidt Special Report, to which I am grateful.1 Steve Scheidt was a colleague of […]