Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Summer 2016

  • A teacher remembered

    Martin Duke Mystic, Connecticut   “Ludwig W Eichna, MD, NYU Medical Violet 1950. Image courtesy of the Lillian and Clarence de la Chapelle Medical Archives at NYU. While a student in medical school during the early 1950s, I was assigned by chance to the medical service of Dr. Ludwig Eichna at New York City’s Bellevue…

  • On Longcope Rounds

    Kevin R. Fontaine Birmingham, Alabama, United States   The Four Doctors, 1905 John Singer Sargent Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Dr. Hunter Champion keys the code in and enters the Longcope Office holding two plastic bags and a cardboard box with Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Senior resident Parker Ruhl, interns Ben McEnroy and Susan Quan,…

  • Medicine, a noble profession

    Sir David Todd Hong Kong, SAR, China You have worked hard and are now duly rewarded; but this is just the beginning of your new life and that is perhaps why in North America graduation is known as commencement. Times have changed since nearly sixty years ago I sat where you are nervously waiting today.…

  • To Sir, with gratitude

    Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   When I was twelve my late grandfather, seeing that I was disinclined to study English, made me an offer I could hardly ignore. “If you learn English,” he said, “then we shall go to America together,” knowing that this was a boyhood dream of mine. A few years later, at…

  • First blood

    John Graham-PoleAntigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, 1970: I’m astounded I’ve landed one of the coveted G.O.S. senior resident jobs. The academic nature of the place immediately daunts me. Everyone bows down to its status as the foremost pediatric research hospital in Europe, perhaps in the world, the faculty…

  • Birth of Adonis

     George Dunea In his version of an ancient Greek myth, Ovid tells what he calls the horrible story of Myrrha developing an incestuous passion for her father, the king of Cyprus. After becoming pregnant, she flees to escape punishment and appeals to the gods to take pity on her. She is transformed into a myrrh…

  • Birth of Mary

     George Dunea The story of the birth of the Virgin comes not from the Scriptures but from the apocryphal Gospel of James, probably written about AD 145. It tells that Anna and Joachim were infertile but prayed for a child and were promised that such a child would advance God’s plan of salvation of the…

  • Birth of Bacchus

     George Dunea Bacchus (Dionysus), god of wine, fertility, and ritual or religious ecstasies, was born under trying circumstances. His mother, Semele, already with child from Jupiter, was induced by a jealous Juno to insist he visit her as a god, not disguised as a mortal. When Jupiter appeared to her the way he really was,…

  • Gertrude Abercrombie: surrealist predilection and pancreatic affliction

    Sally MetzlerChicago, Illinois, United States Chronic pancreatitis, longstanding inflammation of the pancreas, is most commonly caused by an excessive intake of alcohol.1 This was the case of Gertrude Abercrombie, who painted this cryptic, pseudo-surrealistic painting, Letter from Karl. Though born in the United States, early on she lived abroad, when her opera singer parents moved…

  • Giorgione and the plague

    Giorgione’s painting Il Tramonto (The Sunset) is as mysterious as most of the other details of the artist’s life. Painted around 1506, it was lost and rediscovered in 1933 in a villa near Venice, in very poor condition, damaged, and with holes in it. Over time it underwent three restorations. The holes were covered with…