Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: South Africa

  • Broca’s Brains: A lesson in the importance of saving the history of neuroscience

    Richard Brown Halifax, NS, Canada Thalia Garvock-de Montbrun Montreal, QC, Canada   Figure 1. Brain of patient (Lelong) with aphasia studied by Broca. Photo taken by Richard Brown May 2017. Recent fires at the National Museum of Brazil and at the University of Cape Town in South Africa1,2 have shown the fragility of rare books,…

  • The invisible manager

    Javishkar ReddyJohannesburg, South Africa When I was twelve, I was hit on the head by a cricket ball. A few days later, I had my first seizure. Over the years, I have had many attacks, which have resulted in three chipped teeth, a cracked skull, a dislocated shoulder, and my tongue bitten several times. A…

  • C. Louis Leipoldt: The polymath physician and literary giant

    Stephen FinnSouth Africa Looking out across a landscape of dramatic mountains and purple and orange sunsets is a small cave. Listen carefully in this desolate place in a western corner of South Africa, and you will hear in the distance the sound of a banjo being plucked. Interred in this cave at his request are…

  • John Francis Hall-Edwards—a radiology pioneer

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Hall-Edwards (Courtesy of The Library of Birmingham Archives) John Francis Hall-Edwards was born on 19 December 1858 in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham, United Kingdom. He was educated at King Edwards School in Birmingham followed by Queen’s College, Birmingham where he studied medicine and was an apprentice to…

  • Traditional circumcision in South Africa

    Ntombi KgosanaPhenyo MontshoPretoria, South Africa Traditional circumcision is an ancient and highly secretive practice that serves as a rite of passage and a gateway to manhood in South Africa. It draws hundreds of young men annually, with an array of sacred rituals that affirm masculinity and social responsibility. Known as Ulwaluko in the Xhosa culture,…

  • A real world of not-so-real blood

    Kelsey RuudSpokane, Washington, United States Sarah Smith* thought today would be like any other day. She would take her kids to school, then go to her job as an office secretary. But Sarah never made it. Passing through an intersection, Sarah’s car was hit when another driver ran a red light. Paramedics arrived at the…

  • Cecil Rhodes: The man with a hole in his heart

    There must be few people in the world who can locate with confidence Northern or Southern Rhodesia on a map of Africa. Yet these countries still exist, only the names have changed. Nor would the man who founded them win a contemporary popularity contest. In fact, his statue at the University of Cape Town was…

  • Hastings Banda: Family doctor turned tyrant

    In his 1936 list of Truants in medicine who “deserted medicine” and yet perhaps to his surprise or condescension “triumphed,” Lord Moynihan of Leeds listed mainly successful men of science or letters. Actors and sportsmen, however famous, were not included. But mentioned were several people who “strayed to politics,” notably Clemenceau, Sun Yat Sen, and…