Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Syria

  • “Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease”

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden 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, “What were they thinking? Did they not think about potential long-term effects?” Such future…

  • 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 (1813–1883),…

  • In the heart of Damascus

    Kera PanniSeaside, California, United States Even as a child in the American suburbs, I knew my blood flowed from Syria. Relatives said my Jiddoo’s parents were farmers near Homs, and my Sittoo’s family was from the town of Mashta al-Helu in the coastal An-Nusayriyah Mountains. Still, I had only been able to create a fuzzy…

  • A traditional practice in baby care: salting

    Sinem ÇakaSakarya, TurkeySümeyra TopalKahramanamaras, TurkeyNursan ÇınarSakarya, Turkey In many societies, there are traditional practices performed to protect babies from magic, witchcraft, or the evil eye. At first, it may seem that these practices would have no particular effect on health. Some of these traditions bring psychological relief for the family, but some may delay the…

  • Medical innovations made by doctors during the Napoleonic Wars

    Craig Stout Aberdeen, Scotland   The Battle of Waterloo (1815), oil painting by William Sadler. Pyms Gallery, London. The Napoleonic Wars (1799 to 1815) brought great upheaval and turmoil to Europe, with as many as 2.5 million soldiers and 1 million civilians losing their lives. French military physicians, principally Dominique Jean-Larrey, made significant contributions to…