Tag Archives: Sweden

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. […]

Creating a race of orphans: Lebensborn, the “spring of life”

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Lebensborn birth house, nurse in Lebensborn home. 1943. German Federal Archives. Via Wikimedia Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1973-010-11 / CC-BY-SA 3.0 Nazi Germany was a racial state. People of “pure” Aryan or Nordic heritage were believed to have superior physical, intellectual, and moral qualities. People from other ethnic or racial groups were […]

Dr. AJ Cronin: Still persona non grata?

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Harry Fain, coal loader. Inland Steel Company, Wheelwright #1 & 2 Mines, Wheelwright, Floyd County, Kentucky. Russell Lee. September 1946. National Archives. Via Wikimedia. Public Domain. “I have written all I feel about the medical profession, its injustices, its hide-bound unscientific stubbornness . . . The horrors and inequities detailed […]

Early lessons

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Virginia Emergency Room, image from “Historic VCU: A VCU Images Special Collection” VCU Libraries from Richmond, VA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons Finally, it was my first day in a US hospital after studying medicine in Europe for five and a half years. A medical education at the […]

Knock, or The Triumph of Medicine

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Louis Jouvet and André Dalibert in Knock, by Guy Lefranc (1951) “The man who feels well is actually sick and doesn’t know it.” —Dr. Knock   Jules Romains (1885-1972), author of the play Knock, or the Triumph of Medicine, was a novelist, poet, essayist, playwright, and short story writer. He […]

Nazi doctors and medical eponyms

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Special Children’s Ward” Vienna Am Spiegelgrund. Source. The tradition in medicine has been to name a pathological condition after the person who first described it in the medical literature. Thus we have Addison’s disease, Down’s syndrome, and several hundred others. The tendency now is to eliminate the possessive,1 giving Addison […]

Not as a Stranger: The desperate medical student

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Doctors or medical students listening to their heartbeats using a multiple stethoscope. Photograph. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) In order to study medicine, a future doctor needs motivation, some intelligence, a medical school, and the ability to pay for the education. Morton Thompson’s 1954 novel Not […]

The two nightingales

Inga Lewenhaupt Einar Perman Stockholm, Sweden   Jenny Lind standing at a keyboard. Library of Congress, Bain Collection. Accessed via Wikimedia. Source Two remarkable women were born in the same year two centuries ago: Jenny Lind (1820-1887) and Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). Both became world famous, Jenny Lind for her beautiful singing voice, Florence Nightingale for […]