Tag Archives: World War II

Book review: A Time for All Things. The Life of Michael E. DeBakey by Craig Miller

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Cover of A Time for All Things. The Life of Michael E. DeBakey by Craig A. Miller In the latter half of the twentieth century, Michael DeBakey was a worldwide household name, a remarkable feat for a surgeon in the days before the cult of celebrity had become part of […]

Deserving but unrecognized: the forty-first seat

Marshall A. Lichtman Rochester, New York, United States   This gold medal is given to each laureate in literature. Each medal has one face that bears a profile of Alfred Nobel with his name and the date of his birth and death inscribed; the alternative side is unique to the discipline being honored. The medal […]

Being our best selves: hidden in full view

James Stoller Peter Rea Alan Kolp Cleveland, Ohio, United States   Figure 1. Pillars and pediment We live in a paradox framed by a tension between age-old wisdom about excellence and our current state. The paradox is this: our behaviors and our priorities are often at odds with age-old truths about how we can be […]

How a small town kept smallpox small

Annabelle Slingerland Leiden, the Netherlands   Fig. 1 Presentation of smallpox. To make a mountain out of a molehill is a vice, but to keep the mole underground is a virtue. The little town of Tilburg in the south of the Netherlands was not accustomed to seeing mountains, but when a molehill first came into […]

Professionalism in crisis: Dr. Winkel and The Third Man

Paul Dakin London, United Kingdom   Film Forum: The Third Man Times of crisis may highlight the best and worst characteristics of people. Many of us yearn to be heroes and yet what is revealed under pressure may fall short of our ideal. Doctors share this human frailty. Is medical training and professionalism enough to […]

“Hiroshima” seventy-five years after the bombing

Cristóbal S Berry-Cabán Fort Bragg, NC   Figure 1. Little Boy at Tinian Island, August 1945. From the National Archives. Figure 2. Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima, August 6, 1945. From the National Archives. Figure 3. This person’s skin was burned in a pattern corresponding to the dark portions of a kimono worn at the time […]

Dirty, dark, dangerous: coal miners’ nystagmus

Ronald Fishman Chicago, Illinois, United States   A coal miner without a headlamp digging an undercut at the coal face, using only the dim light supplied by a small flame lamp. From Snell 12 It’s dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew, Where the danger is double and pleasures are few Where the rain […]

Yellow blood: learn from yesterday

Meguna Nakai Nagoya, Japan   A person who contributed to Red Cross. Source. This is a creative common image In 2020 Japan will host the second Tokyo Olympics. When the first Olympics were televised in 1964, people were surprised to find that Japan had developed so quickly even though only nineteen years had passed after […]

The history and significance of voluntary, non-remunerated blood donation

Hans Erik Heier Oslo, Norway   Fig. 1. Poster for recruitment of blood donors in Bristol, UK, in 1944. “While we have now begun to understand the cost of everything, we are in danger of losing track of the value of anything” (Ann Oakley and John Ashton, 1993)   Volutary, non-remunerated blood donation in catastrophe […]

From eponym to advocate: the story of Stephen Christmas

Peter Kopplin Toronto, Canada   Picture of Stephen Christmas. Courtesy of Robin Christmas The 1952 Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) had an unusual but fitting article. It was titled “Christmas Disease, a condition previously mistaken for haemophilia.”1 The seminal patient was five-year-old Stephen Christmas and the title suggested an unusual lack of […]