Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: X-rays

  • Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen and X-rays

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, England   Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. LIFE Photo Archive. Via Wikimedia. The name Röntgen will be familiar to most for his discovery of X-rays on November 8, 1895. This date is now celebrated as the International Day of Radiology. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was born in Lennep, Germany on March 27, 1845. The…

  • Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield: Inventor of the CT scanner

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, England The name Godfrey Hounsfield is not familiar to most healthcare professionals, yet his invention of the CT (Computerized Tomography) scanner is one of the greatest radiological advances since Röntgen discovered X-rays in 1895. Nearly all modern hospitals have a CT scanner, which enables doctors to make a more accurate diagnosis, especially…

  • Movie review: Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “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 not a black comedy of errors, and unlike Where Does It Hurt? it is not a broad, obvious satire.…

  • Book review: The Imaginary Patient: How Diagnosis Gets Us Wrong

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom Making the right diagnosis is central to the medical encounter. A doctor always started off by taking a history, examining the patient, and sometimes performing additional tests. But when a creditable diagnosis could not be made, the medical profession often invented conditions that later were shown not to exist. Such…

  • “Avoid a remedy that is worse than the disease”

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden Overconfidence is an undesirable quality. It does not enhance a physician’s approach to learning, nor to changing when change is needed. How a doctor diagnoses or treats a condition today may cause future generations of physicians to wonder, “What were they thinking? Did they not think about potential long-term effects?” Such future…

  • R. Austin Freeman and the Victorian forensic thriller

    Anthony PapagiannisThessaloniki, Greece Many people today are acquainted with well-known books and television series of forensic crime fiction. The modern detective fiction writer is expected to provide detailed descriptions of autopsies, current technology, pharmacology, and toxicology. Yet, even in this relatively new version of the old genre of police fiction, there is nothing new under…

  • On the way to school

    Mary Jumbelic Syracuse, New York, United States   Illustration by Joshua Jumbles. Published with permission. A thin line of blood oozed from a shallow cut in the skin, like the first stroke of an artist’s brush on a blank canvas. The second and third incisions intersected the first to form a large Y-shape. Sanguinous fluid…

  • Medicine and cinema—A cultural symbiosis

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, United Kingdom For doctors and lovers of cinema, 1895 was an important year. On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen, a fifty-year-old professor of physics, discovered X-rays in his laboratory in Wurzburg, Germany. On March 22 1895, the Lumiere brothers presented the first film on a screen to an audience of 200 in…

  • Francis Henry Williams: the first American chest radiologist

    Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Williams performing fluoroscopy of chest. From the book by Williams, which is available on The Wellcome Library. Public domain. Francis Henry Williams was born in Massachusetts on July 15, 1852. His father was a professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. Williams graduated in chemistry in 1873 from…

  • Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin OM, FRS (1910-1994)

    JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1: Dorothy Hodgkin. by Godfrey Argent. National Portrait Gallery, London. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. Dorothy Hodgkin (Fig 1), though not by religion, had close Quaker affinities through her marriage and through her spirited pacifism. She possessed a unique mixture of scientific skills that allowed her to extend the use of…