Tag Archives: World War I

Gordon Morgan Holmes MD., FRS.

JMS Pearce Hull, England Figure 1: Gordon Holmes “Beneath the exterior of a martinet there was an Irish heart of gold” Wilder Penfield Gordon Holmes (1876-1965) was born in Castlebellingham, Ireland. He was named after his father, a landowner, descended from a Yorkshire family that had settled in King’s County (County Offaly) in the mid-seventeenth […]

W.H.R. Rivers and the humane treatment of shell shock

Soleil Shah London, UK   A shell-shocked soldier receives electro-shock treatment from a nurse during the First World War. Image Source: Otis Historical Archives National Museum of Health and Medicine (ref Reeve 041476) via Flickr “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.” – Hippocrates War neurosis, or “shell shock” […]

Enfreakment in the medicalization of difference

Camille Kroll Chicago, Illinois, USA   An advertisement for the Barnum and Bailey circus, of which P.T. Barnum was a cofounder Credit: Wellcome Collection License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions Exalted showman P.T. Barnum was thrilled when he discovered Joice Heth, a severely disabled elderly slave woman. In grotesque detail, he […]

Psychological preparation for war: early life experiences

Jack Riggs Morgantown, West Virginia, United States   A casualty from an outside location carried to a helicopter for transport to US Military Hospital Kuwait in 2005 I suspect that few early life experiences fully prepare one psychologically for the realities of war. Mine certainly did not. However, my introduction to post-traumatic stress and moral […]

Women changing medicine

Lesley Campbell Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia   Erna Stramf with World War I army soldiers and nurses This is my account of three generations of women doctors in my family who in different times and different places were subjected to persecution or at least discrimination because of their race, religion, and gender. The account is […]

The Polish White Cross – birthed on American soil to support Polish soldiers abroad

Magdalena Grassmann Bialystok, Poland Eva Niklinska Nashville, Tennessee, USA   Helena Paderewska with the nurses of The Polish White Cross, 1918   Polish White Cross Symbol Polish medical heritage in the United States has a long history built on the efforts of Polish physicians, nurses, and pharmacists in many American universities, hospitals, and private practices. […]

Ludwik Fleck, physician in Lwow Ghetto

George M. Weisz Sydney, Australia Andrzej Grzybowski Poland   Dr. Ludwik Fleck, a pioneer in the early diagnosis of infectious diseases, was born in 1896 in Lwow, then known as Lemberg and until World War I, part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Graduating from Lwow University Medical School, Dr. Fleck became interested in medical research and […]

Cournand and Richards: pioneers in cardiopulmonary physiology

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Andre Cournand (1895—1988) Dickinson W. Richards, Jr. (1895—1973) During World War I among the allied forces were an artillery lieutenant just out of college and a medical student who acted as an auxiliary battle surgeon because of the high mortality among battalion surgeons. They were, respectively, Dickinson […]

Medical and scientific innovations arising from warfare

Brian Omondi Nairobi, Kenya   Perhaps the only bright side of war is that it impels nations to make medical and scientific innovations. War has long been portrayed as being the best school for surgeons and even for doctors.1 An association between medical services and the military can be traced back to ancient Greece, and the […]