Tag Archives: Spain

E.T.A. Hoffmann’s neurological disease

Nicolás Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Hoffmann’s drawing of himself, riding on Tomcat Murr and fighting “Prussian bureaucracy.” From Klaus Günzel: Die deutschen Romantiker. Artemis, Zürich 1995, ISBN 3-7608-1119-1. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Ich bin das, was ich scheine, und scheine das nicht, was ich bin, mir selbst ein unerklärlich Rätsel, bin ich entzweit […]

Obesity in the Middle Ages: Sancho el Craso

Nicolás Roberto Robles   Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Imaginary portrait. Sancho I El Craso. José María Rodríguez de Losada. between circa 1892 and circa 1894. Public domain. Via Wikimedia. “Severe obesity restricts body movements and maneuvers . . . breathing passages become blocked and do not pass good air . . . these patients […]

Origin of yellow fever

Enrique Chaves-Carballo  Kansas City, Kansas, United States   Henry R. Carter (1852-1925), Public Health Service Assistant Surgeon General and yellow fever epidemiologist. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) The origin of yellow fever has been a controversial subject since the disease appeared in the New World. William C. Gorgas, who was responsible […]

Novalis: the white plague and the blue flower

Nicolas Roberto Robles  Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Bust of Novalis at Nikolaifriedhof (Weiβenfels). Photo by Doris Antony. CC-BY-SA-2.5. Novalis was the pseudonym and pen name of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr1 von Hardenberg, a poet, author, mystic, and philosopher of early German Romanticism. Young Hardenberg adopted the pen name “Novalis” from his twelfth-century ancestors who […]

Children treating children: Anne Shirley as clinician

Kathryne Dycus Madrid, Spain   First edition cover of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, published 1908. Cover art by George Fort Gibbs (1870—1942). Public Domain. Childhood classics provide a range of illness narratives, reminding readers of dangers now preventable and even treatable, but also of the universal imperatives of understanding and accommodating […]

Rilke: a poet’s death

Nicolas Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. A portrait of Rilke painted two years after his death by Leonid Pasternak Public domain Rose, oh reiner widerspruch, lust, Niemandes schlaf zu sein under soviel lidern Rose, o pure contradiction, desire, to be no one’s sleep beneath so many lids. Rainer Maria Rilke, epitaph. On December […]

African American contract doctors in the military

Edward McSweegan Kingston, Rhode Island, United States   African American Soldiers in Cuba, 1898, Wikipedia In the spring of 1898, the United States rushed into a war with Spain but lacked adequate troops, training, weapons, transport, supplies, food, landing craft, and medical personnel. One deficit that could be corrected before the shooting started was the […]

Applause: reflections on “The Plague” and being a doctor in a pandemic

Roger Ruiz Moral Universidad Francisco de Vitoria. Madrid, Spain   Quote from the English version of The Plague by Albert Camus in the Library Walk (New York City). Accessed via Wikimedia. Sculpture by Gregg LeFevre. Photo by Heike Huslage-Koch/Lesekreis.  “I imagine then what the plague must be for you. Yes, – said Rieux – an endless defeat.”1 The COVID-19 lockdown is today […]

Mustard: history of the yellow seed

Carol Sherman Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. The Sign from the Mustard Museum. Photo taken by Douglas R. Siefken, August 15th, 2019. Provided for this article. The National Mustard Museum in Middleton Wisconsin1 describes itself as having over 5,600 mustards. They originate from all fifty states of the United States and from more […]

Blood’s journey: from lab technology to industrial technology

Cristina Sans-Ponseti Barcelona, Spain   Josep Antoni Grifols-Roig at the injection phase of a blood transfusion using his flebula transfusora (Instituto Central de Análisis Clínicos, 1930). Source: Grifols, S.A. Nowadays, it is usual to see donation centers storing blood worldwide. Blood banks meet the demand for blood in order to perform transfusions and produce plasma-based […]