Tag Archives: philosophy

A “most perfect interchange”

Satyabha Tripathi Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India   The Doctor. Luke Fildes. 1891. Tate Gallery, London. Via Wikimedia. “[Lydgate held] the conviction that the medical profession as it might be was the finest in the world; presenting the most perfect interchange between science and art; offering the most direct alliance between intellectual conquest and the social […]

Head and hand: Claude Bernard’s experimental medicine

James A. Marcum Waco, Texas, United States   Claude Bernard. Source: National Library of Medicine, the hisotry of medicine public domain image files. Claude Bernard’s Introduction à l’étude de la médecine expérimentale, originally published in 1865, occupies a critical position in the development of experimental medicine and science.1 In the introduction to the book, Bernard […]

A moment of philosophy

Nishitha Bujala Hyderabad, Telangana, India   Photo by cottonbro from Pexels I seem to be in a constant state of anxiety these days. With my one-year plans and goals seemingly disrupted by the pandemic, my medical licensing exams postponed, my ability to focus shrunk to the size of a peanut, my interest to study equaling […]

Medical and literary coupling

Stephen Finn South Africa   (To be read aloud, with gusto and with a strong beat) Collage created by Hektoen staff. Images from left to right. Top row: Portrait of Rabelais, circa 1820. By Louis-François Durrans. From the Rabelais Museum, via Wikimedia; Anton Chekhov, via Wikimedia. Center: Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash Bottom […]

Viktor Frankl: the meaning of a life

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Viktor Frankl, 1965. Creative Commons. Not long before the Dachau concentration camp was liberated in April 1945, Viktor Emil Frankl was seriously ill with typhus and writing feverishly on stolen scraps of paper, determined to keep himself and his ideas alive. Faced with the prospect […]

The Valsalva maneuver

JMS Pearce Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Valsalva’s maneuver. Source It is a paradox that the discovery of the Valsalva maneuver did not relate to cardiovascular physiology but to the treatment of discharges from the ear. Valsalva’s maneuver is now used physiologically1 to test cardiac and autonomic function, and in several other diagnostic and […]

Carl Gustav Jung

Anne Jacobson Oak Park, Illinois, United States   Carl Jung. Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Creative Commons. In the autumn of 1913, Carl Gustav Jung was traveling alone by train through the rust and amber forest of the Swiss countryside. The thirty-eight-year-old psychiatrist had been lately troubled by strange dreams and a rising sense of tension, […]

Ivan Illich after almost half a century

Photo of Ivan Illich. Via Wikimedia. Ivan Illich died in 2002 and is now in danger of being forgotten. His famous book, Medical Nemesis,1 appeared in 1975 and captured the imagination and approbation of many. He was a vehement critic of the “medical establishment,” which he regarded as a threat to people’s health. He was […]

Revisiting the “Trolley Problem” in the COVID-19 pandemic

Margaret B. Mitchell Boston, Massachusetts, United States Graham M. Attipoe  Nashville, Tennessee, United States   Bridge situation. John Holbo. 2010. CC BY-NC 2.0. Via Flickr The “Trolley Problem” Originally described by Philipa Foot in 1967, the “Trolley Problem” is an ethical dilemma commonly taught in philosophy that challenges participants to explore how far they would […]

Friedrich Nietzsche—much afflicted philosopher

Friedrich Nietzsche By Edvard Munch. 1906. Thielska Gallerie, Sweden. Via Wikimedia. Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the most important philosophers of the nineteenth century. Though often misinterpreted, his influence has been enormous. Like his compatriot Schopenhauer, he questioned the comfortable beliefs of the conservative bourgeoisie of his time. His writings have fascinated generations of readers, […]