Tag Archives: Spring 2019

The good shepherd

Pallavi Tatapudy South Kortright, New York, USA   “Mr. Yankees stayed silent, but his eyes all the while were yelling, ‘O, my Good Shepherd, please don’t do this to me. How could I have gotten three strikes so soon? Give me the strength to continue playing in the game of life. I beg you to […]

Dr. Rebecca Cole and racial health disparities in nineteenth-century Philadelphia

Meg Vigil-Fowler Grand Junction, Colorado   The anatomy lecture room at the Woman’s Medical College of New York Infirmary. Published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.  April 16, 1870. Library of Congress. From the beginning of black women’s professional involvement in medicine, public health marked a central component of the scope of their practice. Rebecca Cole, […]

“Surrounded with many Mercies”: 270 years of patient advice

Andrew Williams Frederick O’Dell Northampton, UK   On July 9, 1748 Dr. James Stonhouse, physician at the Northampton Infirmary (United Kingdom), published “A Friendly Letter to a Patient just admitted to an Infirmary.”1 Later that year, after some minor revisions, the text was reprinted as “Friendly Advice to a Patient,” which for the next century […]

Robert Liston – the fastest knife in town

Samuel Johnson, a man of strongly held prejudices, had a low opinion of most foreigners, and this included the Scots. James Boswell, his biographer and a Scotsman himself, records how Johnson patronizingly would declare that the best roads lead from Scotland and that much could be made of a Scotsman “if he be caught young.” […]

The big sheepdog

Gregory Rose Lexington, KY   The Dog’s Watch. Charles Francois Daubigny. 1857. The Art Institute of Chicago. “How ya doin’, Wayne?” It had been some ten years, back in high school, since I had seen Wayne. I had returned to general practice in my small home town and I was not sure what Wayne had […]

Notre Dame and gratitude

Elizabeth Cerceo Camden, New Jersey, USA   Notre Dame de Paris, brandend. April 15, 2019. Photograph by Milliped on Wikimedia. On April 15, 2019, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burned. This event highlighted the integral nature of art and beauty in our culture. We often take for granted the beauty that surrounds us and stands […]

“Let the people see what I’ve seen”: beauty, suffering, and learning to see

John Brewer Eberly Raleigh, North Carolina   John Brewer Eberly, Jr. “Study on seeing, 2007.” Personal collection. Charles Stegeman, professor of fine arts at Haverford College, once took up the task of teaching medical students how to draw. He did so because he observed that students who learned to draw well went on to perform […]

More than “toil and trouble”: Macbeth and medicine

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   The Witches. Hans Baldung (called Hans Baldung Grien). 1510. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The image of a woman – a witch — working over a bubbling cauldron filled with stomach-turning substances is a staple of both horror and more family friendly media. One such example is Shakespeare’s […]

The future of medicine

Hannah Wilson Cambridge, MA, USA   Photo by Hannah Wilson “Nobody can be told what the matrix is, you have to see it for yourself. … Morpheus: If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain,” Neo, The Matrix, 1999. Tomorrow was louder […]

Medicine, musically

Willem Blois Halifax, Nova Scotia   Robert Pope, Visitors (1989) “This painting is like a psychological ecosystem, where the worlds of healthy and sick meet.” (Pope 1991) I sat on the piano bench, head down, staring at the space between middle C and the key above it. I could see my teacher out of the […]