Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Summer 2022

  • Francis Bacon’s natural philosophy and medicine

    JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1. Novum Organum Scientiarum, 2nd edition, 1645. EC.B1328.620ib, Houghton Library, Harvard University. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Lord Bacon was the greatest genius that England, or perhaps any country, ever produced. – Alexander Pope, 1741   The early seventeenth century was a time when natural philosophy, the precursor of modern…

  • Picasso and medicine: From early paintings to a syndrome

    Michael Yafi Houston, Texas, United States   Pablo Picasso in 1962. Photo via Wikimedia. Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881–1973) was known for his love of the good life. Reportedly, his last words were “Drink to me!” But early in his life, Picasso witnessed sick and dying friends and relatives in his hometown of Malaga, Spain, and…

  • Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield: Inventor of the CT scanner

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, England The name Godfrey Hounsfield is not familiar to most healthcare professionals, yet his invention of the CT (Computerized Tomography) scanner is one of the greatest radiological advances since Röntgen discovered X-rays in 1895. Nearly all modern hospitals have a CT scanner, which enables doctors to make a more accurate diagnosis, especially…

  • Movie review: Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Surgeons operating aboard the USS Harry S. Truman. US Navy photo via Wikimedia. Public domain. “Medicine is power. It makes us giants.” – Dr. Daniele Valotti in Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca   Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca (1973) is an understated, well-acted, and critical “doctor movie.” Unlike The Hospital, it is…

  • The Barbie doll syndrome

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “In all the years I’ve been a therapist, I’ve yet to meet a girl who likes her body.”1– Mary Pipher, PhD, clinical psychologist In 1959, the Mattel toy company introduced a doll in the US that was not modeled on a baby or small child, but rather on a young adult. The…

  • Book review: Am I Normal?

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, England   Cover of Am I Normal?: The 200-Year Search for Normal People (and Why They Don’t Exist) by Sarah Chaney “Am I normal?” is a question that many of us ask at some point in our lives. The existential angst of the twentieth century has resulted in a desire to…

  • Koch’s postulates revisited

    JMS Pearce Hull, England   Van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1722), a Dutch botanist, using his early microscope observed single-celled bacteria, which he reported to the Royal Society as animalcules. The science of bacteriology owes its origin to two scientists of coruscating originality, Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. Pasteur may be described as master-architect and Koch as master-builder…

  • Samuel Pepys: Stones and groans

      Samuel Pepys. Portrait by John Hayls, 1666. National Portrait Gallery, London. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. I polished up that handle so carefully That now I am the ruler of the Queen’s Navy – HMS Pinafore, Gilbert and Sullivan   Introduction Samuel Pepys (1633–1703) did not polish doorknobs to rise in the world. He was…

  • Doctor Cabbie: No good deed goes unpunished

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “I was bound by an oath that I took.”– Doctor Cabbie Doctor Cabbie (2014) begins with Deepak V. Chopra (played by Vinay Virmani) reciting the Hippocratic Oath along with his graduating class from the University of New Delhi. The face of this newly-minted doctor is glowing with joy. He has fulfilled his…

  • Physical benefits of Salat prayers in Islam

    Nicholas GhantousLondon, United Kingdom The five pillars of Islam are the foundation of the religion. They define a practicing Muslim’s identity and guide Muslims towards communally shared values and service to Allah (God). The pillars consist of the profession of faith, pilgrimage, alms, fasting, and prayer. The pillar of prayer is known as salat. The…