Tag Archives: Surgery

Book review of A Brief History of Ayurveda

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   A Brief History of Ayurveda by M.R. Raghava Varier Ayurveda translates from the Sanskrit as “the science of life and longevity.” It originated over 4,000 years ago as a system of healing in the Indian subcontinent, where it flourished until the nineteenth century. The Harappan civilization in the Indus […]

The first effective chemotherapy for cancer

Marshall A. Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   Caution: Chemotherapy. Photo by Justin Levy. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0   Sulfur mustard gas had no influence on the outcome of the battle at Ypres during World War I despite the many deaths and severe injuries it inflicted. Since then, chemical weapons have been used in […]

Alfred Skirrow Robinson: the colorful life of a Roaring Twenties surgeon

Stephen Martin Durham, UK & Thailand   Fig 1. Bentley Speed Six. Source: Craig Howell, CC BY 2.0,  Wikimedia In 1926 my grandfather started work for Dr. A.S. Robinson in Redcar, a small town on the Yorkshire coast. The doctor needed a driver—at least that was the plan at first. He sent him for a […]

Thank you notes

Margaret Mitchell Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash I wrote thank you notes after matching in my residency program, though I found I was thankful for things I had not anticipated. I began working with Dr. Langerman in my first year of medical school, both in clinical settings and research. […]

William Marsden, surgeon and founder of the Royal Free and Royal Marsden Hospitals, London

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Portrait of William Marsden by Thomas Illidge 1850. Picture in public domain. Source To found one hospital is a fairly unusual achievement; to found two is a rare feat indeed. William Marsden, a nineteenth-century British doctor, founded both the Royal Free Hospital and the Royal Cancer Hospital (now known […]

Dr. Will and Dr. Charlie: William James Mayo, (1861-1938) and Charles Horace Mayo (1865-1939)

John Raffensperger Fort Meyers, Florida, United States   Portrait of William Worrell Mayo and his sons: Charles Mayo (right) and William James Mayo (left). Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) The father of the Mayo brothers, William Worall Mayo, was born in a village near Manchester, England, in 1819. His father died when […]

Everyone’s pain

David Nathaniel Yim Baltimore, Maryland, United States   Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash During a grueling two-week backpacking trip, I made the conscious commitment to become a physician. I did not realize at the time, but the painfulness of my trek was only beginning. I knew that I had to achieve excellent grades and […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]