Tag Archives: Uppsala

Movie review: Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Surgeons operating aboard the USS Harry S. Truman. US Navy photo via Wikimedia. Public domain. “Medicine is power. It makes us giants.” – Dr. Daniele Valotti in Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca   Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca (1973) is an understated, well-acted, and critical “doctor movie.” Unlike The Hospital, it is […]

The Barbie doll syndrome

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   1959 first edition Barbie doll. Barbie copyright held by Mattel. Barbieologin on Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0. Fair use. “In all the years I’ve been a therapist, I’ve yet to meet a girl who likes her body.”1 – Mary Pipher, PhD, clinical psychologist   In 1959, the Mattel toy company introduced […]

Tattoos in the twentieth century

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “It was in 1972 and you didn’t really go around showing tattoos or talking about them… And now all of a sudden it has become the thing to do.”1 – Cher, American singer, actor   Sailor being tattooed by a fellow sailor aboard USS New Jersey in 1944. Photo by […]

Movie review: Where Does it Hurt?

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Peter Sellers in 1971. RR Auction. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. “This film is dedicated to the honest, sincere MDs—whose lives are dedicated to the sacred Hippocratic oath. Will these three doctors please stand up?”   This dedication sets the tone of Where Does It Hurt? (1972). Unlike the 1971 film […]

“Phossy jaw”: an industrial horror story

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Skull with jaw affected by phosphorus poisoning. Artwork by J. Bartholomew in Edinburgh Medical Journal. Wellcome Collection. Public domain. “The greatest tragedy in the whole story of occupational diseases.”1 – Donald Hunter, M.D. (1898–1978)   The development of cheap, reliable, and reasonably safe matches became possible with the addition of […]

Isaac Bashevis Singer describes koro

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am grown up, they call me a writer.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer   Mephistopheles in the air (Méphistophélès dans les airs). Lithograph by Eugène Delacroix. Plate 1 from Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published […]

The surgeon’s photograph of the Loch Ness monster

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Whatever is the truth, there is no denying that Nessie will continue to intrigue the world for years to come.” – Johnathan Bright, Oxford Internet Institute   The iconic “photo” of the Loch Ness Monster. Via Wikimedia. Fair use. Loch Ness, at thirty-seven kilometers long and 230 meters deep at […]

Book review: The Facemaker: One Surgeon’s Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Facsimile of a wax teaching model made by Sergeant Thomas H. Kelsey for the New Zealand Medical Corps facial and jaw injury unit, c. 1917. British National Army Museum Copyright, released under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license. “A chirurgien should have…the harte of a lyin…the eyes of a hawke…[and] the hands […]

Diagnosing Mona Lisa

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Mona Lisa looks as if she has just been sick, or is about to be.” – Noel Coward   Crowd photographing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum. Photo by Victor Grigas, June 25, 2014, on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was a many-talented genius of the […]

Movie review: Première Année (The Freshmen)

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Never memorize something you can look up.” – Albert Einstein “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill   Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash. Première Année (literally “First Year”) is a 2018 French film. In it, we meet and follow two young men in their first year of […]