Tag Archives: Winter 2012

The power of the creative

Margo Davis New York, United States   The names used within this article have been changed to ensure patient privacy. The question is often asked of me, “What in the world do you do as an artist-in-residence in a hospital?” Over time, my answer has crystallized to: “I bring the creative process to sick kids.” […]

Warning: laughter can be hazardous to your illness

Bharata Wingham Buckingham, Virginia, United States     Photography by Chris Keiss A cheerful heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit makes one sick. —Proverbs 17:22   Laugh for the health of it! When is the last time you had a good laugh? This was a question I used to ask myself […]

Naming diseases

JMS Pearce Hull, United Kingdom          I tried to unveil the stillness of existence through a counteracting murmur of words, and, above all, I confused things with their names: that is belief. —Jean-Paul Sartre, The Words Disease implies the converse of health, but even health itself is difficult to define. With the gifts of […]

Domenico Cotugno (1736-1822)

Domenico Cotugno During a period of over 40 years Domenico Cotugno served as professor of anatomy at the University of Naples, one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the world, founded by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederic II in 1224. His academic career was marked by several important advances for which he is […]

Shadowing Artists on the Wards: an undergraduate, arts-based medical elective

Pamela Brett-MacLean Michelle Casavant Shirley Serviss Alyssa Cruz Edmonton, Canada   Shirley Serviss, Artist on the Wards, 2011 Stephen Wreakes, Medical Photographer. University of Alberta Hospital, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton. Medicine is frequently described as both an art and science, with science focused on objective, technical knowledge (competency, or cure) and the artistic elements focused […]

On becoming a good physician

L. Lewis Wall St. Louis, Missouri, USA   This is a narrative fiction, and the characters are not a reference to any historical figures. Zeno glanced at the trail ahead of him. He had left the main road a short time before and his destination was now in view, rising up ahead of him to […]

Intercepted letters: the Wandervogel syndrome

Reprinted from The Lancet, Anonymous, “The Wandervogel syndrome,” 1411–1412, December 24, 1966, with permission from Elsevier.   My dear Dean, You seemed surprised in Faculty when I raised objections against extended leave of absence for Johnson to act as visiting professor in Chile. I have been brooding about this business for some time, and here […]

When you cannot decide witch doctor to consult

Florence Gelo Rosemary Harris Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Healing evil possession Mohamed Osman Acrylic 24” x 36” Physicians often face practical dilemmas when treating patients from cultures whose belief systems may differ greatly from those underlying Western medicine. Non-Western healing modalities often attempt to integrate the spiritual and physical, and in some instances, traditional […]

Dr. Ralph Schomburg, a fashionable physician

Dr. Ralph Schomburg (1714–1792) Thomas Gainsborough National Gallery, London This painting by Thomas Gainsborough is from the National Gallery in London. It shows the physician, Dr. Ralph Schomburg (1714–1792). While residing in Bath, Dr. Schomburg attended on Gainsborough himself as well as on his daughters. Story has it that Gainsborough painted this portrait in lieu […]

Lorenzo Lotto: portrait of a physician

Giovanni Agostino della Torre and his son, Niccolo, ca. 1513. Lorenzo Lotto. Philadelphia Museum of Art.   Giovanni Agostino della Torre was an eminent wealthy physician in the northern Italian town of Bergamo. Believed to have been 61 years old when his portrait was painted, he died in 1535 at 81, then presumably no longer […]