Tag Archives: physicians

Shostakovich, shrapnel, and chronic poliomyelitis

Michael Yafi Houston Texas, United States   Illustration by Elena Toponogova Pianist, London, U.K The life of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) has fascinated artists, musicologists, and physicians who have tried to make a connection between his medical history and musical repertoire. Having once said, “When I hear about someone else’s pain, I feel pain too,” Shostakovich […]

The pandemic: a medical student’s perspective

Saira Elizabeth Alex Houston, Texas, United States   The Isle of the Dead. Max Klinger after Arnold Böcklin. 1890. The Art Institute of Chicago. As medical students, we eagerly await the start of clinical rotations since the first day of school; we anticipate building memorable connections with our colleagues and patients. This is an account of my days […]

The bedside manners of Ingmar Bergman’s celluloid physicians

Eelco Wijdicks Rochester, Minnesota, United States   Bergman directing the two psychiatrists in Face to Face (1976)—Courtesy, Everett Collection  The great humanitarian filmmaker and auteur Ingmar Bergman used physicians in his films much more frequently than his peers. Bergman’s full filmography, including two films (Thirst and Brink of Life) directed by but not written by Bergman, […]

The Plague and physician burnout

Geoffrey Rubin Mark Abrams D. Edmund Anstey New York, New York, United States   [Bedside scenes: Doctors visit patient]. 1534. The National Library of Medicine. In Albert Camus’ novel The Plague,1 Doctor Rieux is a consummate physician, a hero and a “true healer.” His main charge is to compassionately perform his duty—a matter, in his […]

Ernest Henry Starling and the birth of English Physiology

JMS Pearce  Hull, England   Fig 1. Ernest Starling. Univ. College. Graduate Guy Hospital. 1890. London. (From Images from the History of Medicine (NLM) ). Accessed via Wikimedia Science has only one language, quantity, and only one argument, the experiment -EH Starling   Ernest Henry Starling (1866-1927) (Fig 1) was an outstanding figure in the […]

Hippocrates, abortion, and cutting for stone

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Two methods of lithotomic position recommended by Sushruta. From Mukhopadhyaya G. The surgical instruments of the Hindus. (vol 2) Calcutta University Press 1914 pp 79 – 80 [public domain] Physicians who take The Oath of Hippocrates swear not to perform abortions or operate for bladder stones: Similarly, […]

Certifying clinical competence: principles from the caliphate of al-Muqtadir

Faraze Niazi Jack Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   Dinar of al-Muqtadir. Dated 910/911. Credit: Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. CC BY-SA 2.5 “The devil is always in the details.” “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” –Two Old Wise Sayings   Certifying clinical competence has virtually universal support. After all, […]

Blood is the life

Saameer Pani Sydney, Australia   The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. Giovanni di Paolo. 1455/60. The Art Institute of Chicago. Vampire—the  very  word  itself  conjures  up  images  of  supernatural  creatures  who  look  not  unlike  you  and  me,  prowl  about  at  night, prey on unsuspecting souls, and sink their fangs into innumerable, hapless victims to […]

John Arbuthnot: physician, wit, and creator of John Bull

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Portrait of Arbuthnot on reprint of John Bull In the light of recent British parliamentary chaos, by chance I discovered this irresistible quotation: “All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies” -John Arbuthnot At a time when in most westernized countries physicians and […]

There is power in the blood

Mark Tan Northwest Deanery, UK   Vue du Cimetiere de Melegnano – le lendemain du Combat. [View of the Cemetery at Melegnano – the aftermath of combat.] “Carne fa carne e vino fa sango” [Meat makes flesh and wine makes blood] – Italian proverb Laura was covered in blood when the paramedics arrived at her […]