Tag Archives: Spring 2022

Dr. Jochem Hoyer’s singular act of altruism

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Operating theatre. Photo by Piotr Bodzek. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” — Martin Luther King, Jr.   Kidney transplantation is the preferred form of treatment for chronic, permanent renal failure. Transplanted patients have better long-term survival than […]

Hans Christian Andersen, James Young Simpson, and ether frolics

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Hans Christian Andersen in 1869. Source: Odense City Museums via Wikimedia. In May 1847, the widely admired writer of literary fairy tales and stories Hans Christian Andersen (Fig 1) left Copenhagen on a tour of Germany and Holland and arrived in London on June 23. There […]

Grand rounds

André Brouillet illustration of “Une leçon clinique à la Salpêtrière.” In the days when medical teaching took place mainly at the bedside, grand rounds were the accepted method by which rare or interesting cases were demonstrated to the entire hospital staff. It was a tradition that went back at least to the days of the […]

“Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease”

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Hair loss in child with tinea capitis infection. CDC, 1970. Public domain. Overconfidence is an undesirable quality. It does not enhance a physician’s approach to learning, nor to changing when change is needed. How a doctor diagnoses or treats a condition today may cause future generations of physicians to wonder, […]

Jean-Baptiste de Sénac and his early textbook on cardiology

Göran Wettrell Lund, Sweden   Figure 1. Portrait of Jean-Baptiste de Sénac (1693-1770). Wellcome Library, London. William Harvey was an important figure in the early days of cardiovascular physiology. Based on meticulous observations, he published De Motu Cordis and Sanguinus in 1628 and has been proposed as the founder of physiology and cardiology.1 During the […]

Fascist Italy: The Battle for Births

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Babies in a basket. Photo by Harris & Ewing, May 1923. Library of Congress. No known restrictions on publication. “It’s up to you to create a generation of soldiers and pioneers for the defense of the empire.” – Benito Mussolini, to the women of Italy1 “Women are a charming pastime…but […]

The romantic suicide: Karoline von Günderrode

Nicolás Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Karoline von Günderrode portrait. Unknown artist. Via Wikimedia. No known restrictions on publication. Suicide, often occurring as an impulsive gesture or from underlying depression, has long been an important cause of death among young people, as exemplified within recent memory by the wave of suicides that followed […]

A portrait of dementia

Lindsay Ripley Dallas, Texas, United States   Photo by Thulfiqar Ali on Unsplash A few months ago, I watched The Father, a film with Olivia Colman in a main role and Anthony Hopkins as the titular father. Hopkins plays Anthony, a character who bears Hopkins’ own name because writer and director Florian Zeller wrote the […]

J. Marion Sims and the reputation-character distinction

Jack E. Riggs Matthew S. Smith Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   J. Marion Sims (1813-1883) Sims’ reputation during his life garnished national and international awards and recognition. Image via Wikimedia. Public domain. “Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.” — Thomas Paine (likely […]

Caleb Hillier Parry MD FRS

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Caleb Hillier Parry Hyperthyroidism or exophthalmic goiter, often called Graves’ disease or Basedow’s disease, was first recorded by Caleb Parry (1755-1822) (Fig 1) posthumously in 1825. William Osler called the affliction “Parry’s disease.” Caleb Parry was born in Cirencester, the son of Joshua Parry, a dissenting […]