Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: 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 TishmaChicago, Illinois, United States 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 known as inoculation or engrafting, in which individuals were infected with live smallpox virus to produce a milder form of the…

  • Ethics, feminism, and cosmetic surgery

    Unaiza WaheedLondon 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 pressure to seek cosmetic surgery for…

  • Dr. Auzoux and his papier-mâché anatomical models

    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 wax, wood, or rubber.1-4 Thus in the early part of the…

  • Sir Robert Carswell, illustrious medical illustrator 

    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 physician named Robert…

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

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, UK 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 the cultural zeitgeist. Craig Miller, himself a distinguished vascular surgeon and medical historian, has written a superb scholarly and…

  • Cloaked in white

    Stacey MaslowFramingham, Massachusetts, United States 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 below. Amidst the blackness faint numbers emerge…

  • 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 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 was known to be very sensitive. He internalized…