Tag Archives: UK

Book Review of A Place in History: The biography of John C. Kendrew

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover: A Place in History: The biography of John C. Kendrew. Remarkable scientific advances in the twentieth century were also crucial for the field of medicine. In the new field of molecular biology, for example, scientists applied the principles of physics and chemistry to elucidate the structure of […]

The memorial of Thomas Johnson, eighteenth-century barber surgeon

Stephen Martin Durham, UK, and Thailand   Fig 1. Monument to Thomas Johnson, Brancepeth. Source: photo © author. Public domain for non-commercial use In the churchyard of St. Brandon in Brancepeth1 village, County Durham, UK, is an unusual headstone monument.2 (Fig 1) Dating to the very last year of the eighteenth century, it has three […]

Medical and other memories of the Cold War and its Iron Curtain

Hugh Tunstall-Pedoe  Dundee, Scotland, UK   Iron Curtain as described by Churchill 1946. Edited from original. Original by BigSteve via Wikimedia. (CC BY 1.0) In 1946, Winston Churchill named the political barrier appearing between the Soviet bloc and the West the “Iron Curtain.” It lasted until 1991. I met or crossed it several times. The […]

William Marsden, surgeon and founder of the Royal Free and Royal Marsden Hospitals, London

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Portrait of William Marsden by Thomas Illidge 1850. Picture in public domain. Source To found one hospital is a fairly unusual achievement; to found two is a rare feat indeed. William Marsden, a nineteenth-century British doctor, founded both the Royal Free Hospital and the Royal Cancer Hospital (now known […]

Samuel Solly—distinguished surgeon and educator

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Samuel Solly. Wood engraving, 1871. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Samuel Solly was born in St. Mary Axe, London, on May 13, 1805. He attended school in Walthamstow, East London, where his contemporaries included the future British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.1 In May 1822 he became an apprentice to […]

A classic case of vanity

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   In The Citadel, A. J. Cronin’s quintessential medical novel, the hero, Dr. Andrew Manson, still a junior doctor in country practice, is unhappy with his lowly professional status and wonders how he can improve matters. Christine, his devoted wife, urges him to try and obtain a higher medical qualification, perhaps […]

Cicely Williams and kwashiorkor

Sue Reeves Roehampton, London, UK   Figure 1. Dr Cicely Williams in later years on a visit to Ghana (The Wellcome Trust, London). Cicely Delphine Williams (1893-1992) has been described as achieving  the ‘physician’s dream’1 by diagnosing, identifying the cause, and finding a prevention and a cure for a disease.2  The disease she identified was […]