Tag Archives: Surgery

Nicholas Senn, the great master of abdominal surgery

Photo of Nicholas Senn. From A group of distinguished physicians and surgeons of Chicago… by F.M. Sperry. 1904. Via Wikimedia. Public Domain. Nicholas Senn was a man with an extraordinary capacity for work, an innovator, always trying new methods, even new experiments that he first conducted on himself. Born in 1844 in St. Gaul, Switzerland, […]

George Crile Sr., founder of the Cleveland Clinic

Portrait of G. W. Crile. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Early days George Crile was an exceptional man, a skilled surgeon who lived at a time when American medicine was emerging from its horse and buggy period and was embracing the principles of aseptic surgery and scientific medicine. Always full of new ideas, he was […]

The memorial of Thomas Johnson, eighteenth-century barber surgeon

Stephen Martin Durham, UK, and Thailand   Fig 1. Monument to Thomas Johnson, Brancepeth. Source: photo © author. Public domain for non-commercial use In the churchyard of St. Brandon in Brancepeth1 village, County Durham, UK, is an unusual headstone monument.2 (Fig 1) Dating to the very last year of the eighteenth century, it has three […]

Lawson Tait, father of aseptic surgery and gynecology

Robert Lawson Tait. via Wikimedia. Robert Lawson Tait was fifth in a dynasty of pioneers who helped transform surgery from a primitive craft to a sophisticated life-saving art. They all worked for a time at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary—James Syme (the “Napoleon of Surgery”), Robert Liston (“time me, gentlemen”), James Simpson (“made childbirth painless”), and […]

Omentum: much more than “policeman of the abdomen”

Ashok Singh Chicago, Illinois, United States   Histology of activated omentum 3 days after placing a 5 cc slurry of inert polydextran particles of approx. 100 micron diameter (1 million particles) in the abdominal cavity of rats. Note the dramatic change in the size and quality of the omentum. While the native omentum is fatty […]

William Sands Cox—surgeon and founder of the Birmingham Medical School

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Drawing of William Sands Cox by T H Mcguire. 1854. Public domain. Via Wikimedia  In the early nineteenth century Birmingham was the second largest city in England. It was an industrial powerhouse, known as the city of a thousand trades, but it did not have its own medical […]

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. […]