Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Volume 5, Issue 4 – Fall 2013

Volume 5, Issue 4 – Fall 2013 ISSN 2155-3017

Published in Chicago by the Hektoen Institute of Medicine

Hope, health & healing on the Tiber

Polymathy in decline?

Plague of Ashod
Passionate medicine

In this issue we present several feature articles, ranging from the decline of polymaths in medicine to one doctor’s experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We also include a special section on epidemics and infection, and two articles from our medical history lecture series: “The American Civil War: a biological phenomenon” and “Health, Hope, and Healing on the Tiber.” As always, we have interesting pieces relating medicine to art, literature, and history, and reflections on the medical experience from doctors, patients, and students.

We invite you to participate in our two new contests:

The Vesalius Prize – with an award of $1,000New deadline is Dec. 9 2013

The Hektoen Essay Contest – with a first prize of $1,500 and a second prize of $1,000!

Table of contents
Feature Articles

Abandon…Chris Bird
Cosmas and DamianGiorgina Piccoli and Martina Ferraresi
The value of achievement…Paul Joseph

Polymathy in decline?…JMS Pearce

Medical History

The American Civil War: a biological phenomenon?…Michael Brown
Uncertain disease: the science of nostalgia…Kevis Goodman

Mentally ill and Jewish in World War II…Mary Seeman


The two hemispheres of medicine…Jeffrey Levine
Hope, health, & healing on the Tiber…Mary McDermott & Kathleen Taylor
Géricault’s art of insanity…Caitlin Meyer

Doctors, Patients, & Diseases

Laundry…Susan Beck
Bill’s legacy…Adam Goldstein
Charlie…Gaetan Sgro
Medicine & culture: on becoming a nurse…Shirley Stephenson

Medicine and Literature

Four short literary incisions…Catalina Florina Florescu
Placebo effect or care effect?
…Pekka Louhiala and Raimo Puustinen
The male nurse in literature
…Solomon Posen

Epidemics and Infection

Cholera through the ages…Khameer Kishore Kidia
Passionate medicine
…Tom Koch
A changing paradigm for medical research
Kayvon Modjarrad
Penicillin’s unique discovery
…Emmanuel Ugokwe

Becoming a Medical Professional

The death of Francesca Tornabuoni…Katrina Genuis
An image in time: medical photography in dermatology
…Andrea Marks
…Bryan Sisk

New Briefs

Doctors as angels and devils…Sally Metzler

Sun Yat-sen…K.N. Lai

Francis Galton…Marja Berclouw

Giulio Clovio…George Dunea