Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Tracheotomy

  • Dr. Mikhail Bulgakov and morphine

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “During the years of war and revolution it was hard to find a hospital without morphine-addicted patients.”1– Vladimir Gorovoy-Shaltan, physician specialist in addiction medicine Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov (1891–1940) was a Russian physician, novelist, and playwright. He earned his medical degree from the University of Kiev (now Kyiv) in 1916. In 1919 he…

  • Grumpy doctors and the short story

    Tony MiksanekSouthern Illinois, United States This essay is based on a presentation made at the University of Iowa College of Medicine for the conference “The Examined Life: Writing and the Art of Medicine” on April 24, 2008. It isn’t always necessary to take the temperature of fictional physicians to know that they are hot. Three…

  • High drama in the scullery

    George Dunea This dramatic incident must have taken place around 1930, at a time when great controversy raged about the level at which a life-saving tracheotomy should be done. It is an extract from “High Tracheotomy Low Tracheostomy,” a lecture as given by Sir Clive Fitts at the Royal College of Physicians of London in…

  • The tracheotomy

    Michelle Paff Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States The transformation of a medical student into a physician is depicted in the short story The Steel Windpipe (1925) by the Russian physician and author Mikhail Bulgakov. A young practitioner is stationed alone at a rural hospital, and one snowy evening he is approached by a woman with her dying…