Tag Archives: Spring 2021

The monastic infirmaries of North Yorkshire

Stephen Martin UK   Fig 1. Well-preserved walls of Rievaulx Abbey, 1225-40. Photo © author, 2021, permission for non-commercial and academic reuse.     Fig 2. Rievaulx, decorated gothic chancel of the Abbey Church, c. 1240, looking west, avant-garde architecture for its time. Photo © author, 2021, permission for non-commercial and academic reuse.   North […]

Book Review of Casanova’s Guide to Medicine

Arpan Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: Casanova’s Guide to Medicine. Lisetta Lovett. The eighteenth-century Italian Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) is today best remembered for legendary amorous pursuits that resulted in his name becoming a part of the English language. What has been forgotten, however, is that he was a remarkable and erudite polymath. He graduated […]

The life and death of Franz Schubert

Nicolas Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Pencil-on-paper caricature of singer Johann Michael Vogl (left) and composer Franz Schubert (right). The caption (in German) reads: Michael Vogl and Franz Schubert go out for battle and victory. Attributed to his friend, Franz von Schober – Original is in the Historic Museum of the City of Vienna. […]

“Plague of the Sea, and the Spoyle of Mariners”—A brief history of fermented cabbage as antiscorbutic

Richard de Grijs Sydney, Australia   Germans eating sauerkraut. Hand-colored etching by James Gillray (1756–1815), published 7 May 1803. (© National Portrait Gallery, London: NPG D12809; CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) “. . . those affected have skin as black as ink, ulcers, difficult respiration, rictus of the limbs, teeth falling out and, perhaps most revolting of […]

Covid cascade killed my father

Helen Meldrum Waltham, MA   Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash My father died last year from what I call “Covid cascade,” a series of unforeseen consequences that ensue when Covid-19 breaks out in a healthcare facility. My father did not have the virus at the time he died—in fact, he tested negative three times. […]

Homeopathy: medicine or placebo?

Shrestha Saraf Sutton Coldfield, UK Sudarshan Ramachandran Birmingham, UK   Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann. Mezzotint by R. Woodman after G. E. Hering. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark Homeopathy, based on a pseudoscientific system of alternative medicine, was developed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann around 1790. The primary principle of homeopathy is “like cures like,” i.e., […]

A walk on the pediatric floor

Elie Najjar St. Nottingham, United Kingdom   Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash I came to the pediatric floor to learn about medicine—the presentation, development, and resolution of diseases—but I found myself learning something that etched itself deeper into my soul. I learned about humanity and the great energy that even in the darkest […]

Risking it all to save strangers—remembering Gisella Perl

Jacquline Musgrave Peoria, Arizona, United States   Dr. Gisella Perl after World War II. Source. Her hands were cracked and covered in mud and dirt as she delivered the baby, broke its little neck, closed its eyes, and buried it in a hole outside. No one would know about this baby, or the others who […]

Ode to baroque and other musical genres

George Christopher Ada, Michigan, United States   The Lute Player. Caravaggio. 1596. Wildenstein Collection. Via Wikimedia. Imagine a musical style that is emotionally evocative yet highly organized, thereby conferring structure to emotion; that gives artistic expression of the fusion of emotion and reason; that mimics biology at cellular through ecological levels through its organized complexity; […]

Dr. AJ Cronin: Still persona non grata?

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Harry Fain, coal loader. Inland Steel Company, Wheelwright #1 & 2 Mines, Wheelwright, Floyd County, Kentucky. Russell Lee. September 1946. National Archives. Via Wikimedia. Public Domain. “I have written all I feel about the medical profession, its injustices, its hide-bound unscientific stubbornness . . . The horrors and inequities detailed […]