Tag Archives: Sweden

Going berserk

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Berserk: frenzied, furiously, or madly violent. – Oxford English Dictionary   Imaginative drawing of a berserker in a fur loincloth. From Den Skandinavska Nordens Historia (The Scandinavian North’s History) by Gustaf Henrik Mellin, published 1850. The British Library on Flickr via Norwegian Wikipedia. No known copyright restrictions. The word berserkr […]

Berzelius, father of Swedish chemistry

  Jons Jakob Berzelius. Engraving by Charles W. Sharpe and published by William Mackenzie, 1860. After Johan Olaf Sodermark. Smithsonian Libraries Image Gallery via Wikimedia. Public domain. Born in 1779 in East Gotland in the southern part of Sweden, Jons Jacob Berzelius descended from an old Swedish family in which many of his ancestors had […]

Dr. Oriol Mitjà: seeking to understand old and new infectious diseases

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Research needs to give answers to real problems.” – Dr. Oriol Mitjà   Oriol Mitjà. Photo by Oriol.mitja, 2016, on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. Dr. Oriol Mitjà (b. 1980) earned his M.D. degree from the University of Barcelona. He then completed an internal medicine residency, followed by a fellowship in […]

Daumier’s doctors

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Le médecin : Pourquoi, diable! mes malades s’en vont-ils donc tous?”. Caricature by Daumier. National Library of Medicine. No known copyright restrictions. “Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.” – Reinhold Niebuhr   Honoré Daumier (1808–1879) was a “fundamentally discontented” French social critic, painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He produced over […]

Dr. Jochem Hoyer’s singular act of altruism

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Operating theatre. Photo by Piotr Bodzek. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” — Martin Luther King, Jr.   Kidney transplantation is the preferred form of treatment for chronic, permanent renal failure. Transplanted patients have better long-term survival than […]

“Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease”

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Hair loss in child with tinea capitis infection. CDC, 1970. Public domain. Overconfidence is an undesirable quality. It does not enhance a physician’s approach to learning, nor to changing when change is needed. How a doctor diagnoses or treats a condition today may cause future generations of physicians to wonder, […]

Jean-Baptiste de Sénac and his early textbook on cardiology

Göran Wettrell Lund, Sweden   Figure 1. Portrait of Jean-Baptiste de Sénac (1693-1770). Wellcome Library, London. William Harvey was an important figure in the early days of cardiovascular physiology. Based on meticulous observations, he published De Motu Cordis and Sanguinus in 1628 and has been proposed as the founder of physiology and cardiology.1 During the […]

Fascist Italy: The Battle for Births

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Babies in a basket. Photo by Harris & Ewing, May 1923. Library of Congress. No known restrictions on publication. “It’s up to you to create a generation of soldiers and pioneers for the defense of the empire.” – Benito Mussolini, to the women of Italy1 “Women are a charming pastime…but […]

When Papa Doc treated yaws

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   A patient with yaws prior to and two weeks after a single injection of benzathine penicillin. 1950s. From Kingsley Asiedu, Christopher Fitzpatrick, and Jean Jannin, “Eradication of Yaws: Historical Efforts and Achieving WHO’s 2020 Target.” PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8(9), 2014: e3016, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003016. Via Wikimedia. CC BY 4.0. “Our Doc […]

A tangled web: stealing newborns in twentieth-century Spain

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Newborn infant. Photo by United States Children’s Bureau, 1940s. National Library of Medicine Images from the History of Medicine. The National Library of Medicine believes this item to be in the public domain. “We were Europe’s baby supermarket and babies were stolen for sixty years.”1 — Inés Madrigal   Twentieth-century […]