Tag Archives: Sweden

Depiction of defecation in the works of Pieter Bruegel

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Two behinds out the same window. Detail from Netherlandish Proverbs (The Blue Cloak). Pieter Bruegel the Elder. 1559. Gemäldegalerie. Via Wikimedia. “Civilization rests upon two things – the discovery that fermentation produces alcohol, and the voluntary ability to inhibit defecation.” —Robertson Davies, The Rebel Angels The life of the peasant […]

Between Vesalius and the CAT scan

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze, Zoologia “La Specola”, Florence, Italy. Wax anatomical models. September 2006. Photo by Daderot. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0 Scribe: noun. A person who copies documents, especially a person who made handwritten copies before the invention of printing. —dictionary.com   The first reliable anatomic drawings based […]

Pediatrics and theatrics

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Chicago, Illinois. Provident Hospital. Doctors and interns in the cafeteria. Photo by Jack Delano. 1942. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division  1. Initiation. I had had a busy night on call in the city’s largest women’s hospital. I was a second-year pediatric resident assigned to the Neonatal Intensive Care […]

Medical school final exams: playing the odds

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Five men toast around a table. Unknown photographer. between circa 1890 and circa 1910. Nordic Museum NMA.0057916. Via Wikimedia I had finished eighteen months of clinical rotations at an American hospital and was back at my medical school in Belgium to take final exams. I checked in to a small […]

A Martian treatment for dehydration

Multicolored carrots. Stephen Ausmus. USDA ARS Image Number K11611-1. Wikimedia Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   I was “rotating” through the pediatric service in an American general hospital. As a sixth-year student of a European medical school, I had been allowed to return home for my year of clinical duties before graduation. One day, during pediatric […]

The curative value of pork

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Photo of a Swedish pig farmer. Gustav Heurlin. From Allers Familj-journal. 1909. Via Wikimedia The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. —Voltaire   My mother told me the story that when I was a few months old I developed some sort of respiratory illness. […]

Red Beard: a master clinician in nineteenth century Japan

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   A Meeting of Japan, China, and the West, late 18th – early 19th century. Shiba Kōkan. late 18th – early 19th century. Minneapolis Institute of Art. One of the essential qualities of the clinician is interest in humanity, for the secret of the care of the patient is in caring […]

The sweet smell of success

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Cropped from photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels “You shall nose him . . .” —Hamlet, Act IV, scene III   It was July 1977. After having done a rotating internship, I was starting my pediatric residency at the academic children’s hospital. My first rotation was in the outpatient clinic, […]

The Last Angry Man: a caged eagle

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Still from The Last Angry Man. From the Collection of African American film materials at the Southern Methodist University Library. © 1959, renewed 1987 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved. galoot: an awkward or uncouth fellow. – Oxford English Dictionary galoot: someone who thinks the world owes him a […]

Suspicious minds

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   An IVU image showing the Kidneys, Ureter, and Bladder. 2007. Via Wikimedia. “Whatever it is, I’m against it.” – Groucho Marx It was the day of my exam in urology. In 1975 I was a sixth-year medical student (in a seven-year course of study) at an old, highly-regarded European university. […]