Tag Archives: Summer 2020

The pandemic: a medical student’s perspective

Saira Elizabeth Alex Houston, Texas, United States   The Isle of the Dead. Max Klinger after Arnold Böcklin. 1890. The Art Institute of Chicago. As medical students, we eagerly await the start of clinical rotations since the first day of school; we anticipate building memorable connections with our colleagues and patients. This is an account of my days […]

Prisoners on leave: Vietnam veterans and the Golden Age Western

Edward Harvey  Missoula, Montana, United States   Vietnam War – Hue, 17 Feb 1968 – US Marines Approaching Movie Theater Displays – Photo by Nik Wheeler. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS. Via Flickr. “I think we all died a little in that damn war.” – The Outlaw Josey Wales   “So…what have you been up to?” When […]

Thomas Keith; pioneer photographer and pioneer surgeon

Iain Macintyre Edinburgh, Scotland   Figure 1. Thomas Keith. Artist and date unknown. Etching with Keith’s signature (image reproduced with permission Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh). “His success so far outstripped that of all other operators, that it became a wonder and admiration of surgeons all over the world.”1 So wrote J Marion Sims […]

A brief life

Andrea Eisenberg  Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, United States   Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash  I felt his legs wiggling in the sac of warm fluid surrounding him. His body was so tiny, his kicks were like a feather passing across my fingers. But his warm, dark world was about to slip away. Did he already sense it? Or […]

Thomas Henry Huxley

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Fig 1. TH Huxley. print by Lock & Whitfield. 1880 or earlier. Via Wikimedia. “In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration . . . In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are […]

Prayer to St. Roch, patron of plague sufferers  

Jack Coulehan Stony Brook, New York   San Roque. Francisco Ribalta, between circa 1600 and circa 1610. Museu de Belles Arts de València. Via Wikimedia.   Please take your work to the next step,  St. Roch, beyond being a friendly ghost  to the lost. Bring us back from the edge.     Pour out the healing grace of your […]

Dead Sea: health claims and tourist delights

After the death of Alexander the Great, the land now comprising Israel and Jordan fell under the successive domination of the Seleucid kings, Rome, Arabs, Ottoman Turks, and the British empire. Lying in almost the center of that area is the Dead Sea. It is actually not a sea but rather a salt-water lake, and […]

Drawing parallels in pandemic art

Mariella Scerri Mellieha, Malta Victor Grech Pembroke, Malta   Photo of the crowd at an undetermined 1918 Georgia Tech home football game. Photo by Thomas Carter, Public domain. Via Wikimedia. “Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world; yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down […]

Another look at the medical problems of Jean-Paul Marat: searching for a unitary diagnosis

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   L’Assassinat de Marat / Charlotte Corday. Paul-Jacques-Aimé Baudry. 1860. Musée d’Arts de Nantes. Via Wikimedia. Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793) was a practicing physician, scientist, and a leader of the French Revolution. He also suffered from a chronic, intractable skin condition, which troubled the last five years of his life. A tormenting […]

My very own back pain

Andrew Bamji Rye, East Sussex, UK   Illustration by Claude Serre. As a rheumatologist, now retired, I spent a good portion of my working life dealing with patients who had back pain. I reckoned over the course of thirty-three years in the specialty that I had back pain largely nailed. I developed an algorithm which […]