Tag Archives: Winter 2013

The sweating sickness in Tudor England: a plague of the Renaissance

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Portrait of Henry VIII, c. 1537 Hans Holbein the Younger Oil on canvas 11” × 8” Introduction In the recent semi-fictional work by Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall, which takes place in the early 16th century, the protagonist Thomas Cromwell, counsel and henchman of Henry VIII, awakens in […]

Richard Bright, the father of nephrology

Two centuries will soon have passed since Richard Bright, of Guy’s Hospital, London, described the disease that came to bear his name. Within a few years of his original publication, the term Bright’s Disease became virtually synonymous with kidney disease—in England, Germany, France, and the United States. In its full-blown formulation it consisted of four […]

Observing the human condition: letters and case reports

Thomas J. Papadimos Columbus, Ohio, United States   From time to time medical students and residents ask me to mentor them in regard to the exploration of a research topic. My retort is that I do not consider myself a researcher, even though I engage in scholarly endeavors. I tell them that I am a […]

Borderline

William Marshall Tucson, Arizona, USA   Huachuca Mountains Photography by J. G. Park When family and friends from back East ask me about the Arizona/Mexico border, two images come to mind: first, an almost unlimited view of blue sky and distant mountains; second, a sick, frightened teenage boy sitting on an exam table in the […]

Waiting for the darkness to lift

Sheila Solomon Klass New York, New York, United States   Amsler chart with macular degeneration From early childhood I wanted to be a writer and tell stories. But Mama and Papa, impoverished and struggling to survive at the end of the Great Depression, scoffed at such ideas and insisted I should be enrolled in a […]

Jeremiah Kenoyer’s cancer cure

The remedies prescribed in the past by many of the learned (and even some unlearned) members of the medical profession were neither evidence-based nor presumably effective (unless the patients got better anyway!). Here are some samples derived from the therapeutic armamentarium of Dr. Jeremiah Kenoyer: Dr. Kenoyer and his wife Elizabeth Dr. Jerimiah [sic] Kenoyer’s […]

Doctors and illness in Boccaccio’s Decameron

Maria Sgouridou Greece   Introduction Giovanni Boccaccio was born in Tuscany in 1313, the illegitimate son of a merchant of Certaldo, who launched him on a commercial career hoping he would follow in his steps. Sent to Naples for that reason, he soon abandoned commerce and the study of canon law, and began instead to […]

Art and medicine in Renaissance Siena

Sally Metzler Chicago, Illinois, United States   These frescoes by Domenico di Bartolo (active 1420-1444), a stalwart of Sienese Renaissance painters, illuminate daily life in one of Europe’s oldest hospitals, the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala. Situated across from the magnificent Gothic Siena Cathedral, the Ospedale was admired in the fifteenth century for its […]

Lavinia Fontana – Ambras syndrome

Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man . . . Genesis 27:11 The Ambras syndrome is a rare genetic disorder characterized by an excessive growth of hair over the whole body—especially the face, ears, arms, shoulders, back, and legs—and sometimes accompanied by an overgrowth of the gums. Caused by a defect in one of […]

The First Cut

Lisa Friedman Cleveland, Ohio, USA Poet’s statement: The poem is about my first experience with cadavers in the anatomy lab at medical school. The first cut My first patient was an 88-year-old female “Congestive Heart Failure” the chart said. Not in acute distress Neither alert nor oriented x 3. I was told I had consent […]