Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: surgeons

  • Additional French surgeons

    By the close of the fourteenth century, France emerged as the preeminent center of European surgical practice. Its early pioneers included Theodoric Borgognoni of Lucca (1205–1296), who played a pivotal role in elevating surgery from a craft to a respected medical discipline; Guido Lanfranc of Milan (1250–1315), who further refined surgical techniques; and Henri de…

  • Hope

    Rima NasserBeirut, Lebanon “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. This is not an incendiary rant about the politicians and people whose greed and inhumaneness pushed Lebanon into an abyss of ignorance and dereliction. This also is not a tale averring the grandeur of this magical country…

  • Women surgeons

    Moustapha Abousamra Ventura, California, United States   Cactus flower with buds.Image courtesy of the author. Last spring, I spent three months in the Texas Hill Country. It is a place that at once can be beautiful and hostile. The fields of blue bonnets in full bloom are breathtaking. The cacti that abound around barbed wire…

  • Tutorial for surgeons by Lawrence Peter Berra

    Jayant RadhakrishnanChicago, Illinois, United States Since the turn of this century, and more so over the past decade, surgeons at various stages of their careers have been dissatisfied with their work and the surgical lifestyle. The main reason for their dissatisfaction seems to be an ever-increasing burden of administrative work, leaving them with little time…

  • John Hunter, Harvey Cushing, and acromegaly

    Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1. Charles Byrne, a giant, George Cranstoun, a dwarf, and three other normal sized men. Etching by J. Kay, 1794. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Introduction John Hunter and Harvey Cushing were two of the most preeminent surgeons of their eras. John Hunter is considered…

  • In praise of swimming: from Benjamin Franklin to Oliver Sacks

    James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Oliver Sacks as a young child with his father. Courtesy of the Oliver Sacks Foundation. Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was not a physician, but many thought he was so-trained and referred to him as “Doctor” Franklin. After accepting an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in…

  • Ernest Henry Starling and the birth of English Physiology

    JMS Pearce  Hull, England   Fig 1. Ernest Starling. Univ. College. Graduate Guy Hospital. 1890. London. (From Images from the History of Medicine (NLM) ). Accessed via Wikimedia Science has only one language, quantity, and only one argument, the experiment -EH Starling   Ernest Henry Starling (1866-1927) (Fig 1) was an outstanding figure in the…

  • Hippocrates, abortion, and cutting for stone

    John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Two methods of lithotomic position recommended by Sushruta. From Mukhopadhyaya G. The surgical instruments of the Hindus. (vol 2) Calcutta University Press 1914 pp 79 – 80 [public domain] Physicians who take The Oath of Hippocrates swear not to perform abortions or operate for bladder stones: Similarly,…

  • Blood and bandages

    Patricia A. UnsworthBolton, England, United Kingdom The notorious Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, is possibly the first thought that comes to mind at the mention of barber surgeons, but how far from reality was this character of Victorian fiction? Perhaps not so far removed as one might imagine. Todd was obviously a…

  • Howard Kelly’s avant-garde autopsy method

    Julius P. Bonello, George E. Tsourdinis Peoria, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Dr. Howard Kelly (Photo courtesy of The Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions)3 Once dubbed the “Prince of Gynecology,” Dr. Howard A. Kelly was one of the most prominent surgeons in the United States in the early…