Tag Archives: Summer 2020

Sir Geoffrey Langdon Keynes

JMS Pearce East Yorks, UK   Fig 1.  Sir Geoffrey Langdon Keynes. Reproduction after a pencil drawing by G. Shaw, 1957. Credit: Wellcome Collection.  (CC BY 4.0) Mention the name Keynes in Britain and most people think of the Buckinghamshire town Milton Keynes or the celebrated twentieth-century economist John Maynard Keynes. In the thirteenth century […]

Roget and his Thesaurus

JMS Pearce East Yorks, UK   Fig 1. Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869). William. Drummond, after Eden Upton Eddis. c.1830s. Credit National Portrait Gallery  There was much more to Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869)(Fig 1) than his indispensable Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases (Fig 2).1 But little is remembered of his illustrious career in medicine and […]

The global journey of variolation

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   A human hand with smallpox pustules. Colored etching by W.T. Strutt. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Humanity has eliminated only one infectious disease—smallpox. Smallpox is a very old disease and efforts to prevent it are almost as old. They included a technique called variolation, also […]

Ethics, feminism, and cosmetic surgery

Unaiza Waheed London   Illustration by the author In Reshaping the Female Body, Kathy Davis expresses surprise when a feminist friend announces she is considering breast augmentation surgery: “[She] was very critical of the sufferings women have to endure because their bodies do not meet the normative requirements of feminine beauty,” yet she still felt […]

Dr. Auzoux and his papier-mâché anatomical models

Portrait of Thomas Louis Jerome Auzoux. Credit: Wellcome Collection.  (CC BY 4.0) The teaching of anatomy has often been impeded by legal restrictions on dissection or by a shortage of cadavers. As drawings or paintings are generally inadequate for the purpose of instruction, some anatomists have resorted to using three-dimensional models made of materials such as […]

Sir Robert Carswell, illustrious medical illustrator 

Robert Carswell. Source Paris during the greater part of the nineteenth century was the mecca of medicine, home of great surgeons and great physicians. Doctors from all over the world flocked to its hospitals to learn from its famous professors and study pathology in their amply supplied dissecting rooms. Among these students was a Scottish […]

Book review: A Time for All Things. The Life of Michael E. DeBakey by Craig Miller

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Cover of A Time for All Things. The Life of Michael E. DeBakey by Craig A. Miller In the latter half of the twentieth century, Michael DeBakey was a worldwide household name, a remarkable feat for a surgeon in the days before the cult of celebrity had become part of […]

Cloaked in white

Stacey Maslow Framingham, Massachusetts, United States   Photo courtesy of the author Darkness envelops me. A sliver of light peeks beneath the door from the world beyond the hospital room. Through the window hilled silhouettes stand silent before a veiled black backdrop. My mind wanders to the image of morning in the town just waking […]

Abraham Colles—giant among surgeons

Abraham Colles. Source. Abraham Colles was born in Kilkenny in Ireland in 1773. The story has it that as a boy he found an anatomy book in a field after a flood had destroyed a doctor’s house. He took the book to his owner, a Dr. Butler, who, finding he was so interested in it, […]

Shostakovich, shrapnel, and chronic poliomyelitis

Michael Yafi Houston Texas, United States   Illustration by Elena Toponogova Pianist, London, U.K The life of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) has fascinated artists, musicologists, and physicians who have tried to make a connection between his medical history and musical repertoire. Having once said, “When I hear about someone else’s pain, I feel pain too,” Shostakovich […]