Tag Archives: Summer 2017

Patrick Branwell Brontë (1817-1848): A tale of aspiration and decline

JMS Pearce    On the bleak, rocky, windswept Yorkshire moors is the famous Brontës’ parsonage of St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Haworth. Here the celebrated Brontë sisters wrote their varied poetry and tales of romance, repressed passions, and frustrated love. This year (2017) marks 200 years since the birth of their brother, Patrick Branwell […]

Treating thunderbirds

Ananya Mahapatra New Delhi, India   Setting the mind free  The cacophony of the psychiatric ward  paused for a moment as a young woman was ushered in by two hospital attendants and her frail, frightened  mother. She laughed garishly and cussed in rural vernacular with wild abandon. She spoke in loud unapologetic spurts, like pennies […]

I sing the battery electric

Victoria Crawford Chiang Mai, Thailand   One, two nights there came an odd flutter when half asleep, half awake, on my left side, as slight as a moth’s wings might stutter, a beat— lopsided, not to be denied. My five year old maker unpaced me, potholed cadences , the rhythm of my life: five years for […]

The curious tale of Leonardo Da Vinci and the spherical uterus

John Massie Parkville, Victoria, Australia   Drawing of Pregnant Uterus by Leonardo da Vinci (c 1512) Leonardo Da Vinci had one of the greatest minds in history. Accomplished in so many fields of both the arts and science, he challenged contemporary thinking, and was one of the early Renaissance artists to use dissection of corpses […]

Death by Dysentery? Artist Frank Russell Wadsworth in Madrid

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States   Frank Russell Wadsworth (1874-1905) A River Lavadero, 1905, Oil on canvas, Union League Club Chicago Though he basked in the Spanish sun, the summer warmth would be his downfall, indeed his early death. Artist Frank Russell Wadsworth of Chicago gravitated towards the vivid colors and picturesque river banks […]

Thomas Jefferson’s medical schools

John Ehrhardt Patrick O’Leary Miami, Florida, United States   Portrait of Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States of America, devoted much of his life to science, medicine, and education. Entering the College of William & Mary at sixteen, he was mentored in science and […]

Breathing

Laura Anne White Rochester, MN, USA   Author’s statement: I wrote this poem on a piece of scrap paper around five am, towards the end of a night shift. About fifteen minutes after coming into work that evening, a patient of mine who had been somnolent struggled to breathe. Moments like this have a way […]

Sir James Paget

Born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in 1814, James Paget was one of the outstanding surgeons of his time, remembered for his description of osteitis deformans (Paget’s disease of bone) and of Paget’s disease of the breast. He has been regarded as the surgical equivalent of  William Osler in medical education and of Rudolph Virchow in […]

Caleb Hillier Parry

Despite a successful medical practice in the once fashionable town of Bath, Caleb Parry would be largely forgotten were it not that in 1786 he reported on five cases of exophthalmic goiter. This was almost fifty years earlier than the better-known description by Robert Graves, leading to a later suggestion that Graves’ disease should really […]