Volume 6, Issue 1 – Winter 2014

Published in Chicago by the Hektoen Institute of Medicine

A tribe’s fattening culture

If Cleopatra were alive today

Visit our Art Flashes

In this issue we explore concepts of beauty as understood in different cultures. We learn about Cleopatra’s borderline personality disorder, the psychology of vengeance, medieval headaches, measles in the young, and the history of anesthesia and also how the gut is unloved by poets, how laughter helps ease the burden of diabetes, and how the family that eats together stays together – happy and thin. We also feature several handsome paintings from the excellent Brukenthal Museum in Transylvania.

Feature Articles

Life at the table…Isabel Azevedo
Healing through laughterFarrah Bui
Scarification: a harmful practice?…Kenneth Felsenstein

The unloved gut…Fergus Shanahan

Medical History

The boys’ club…Laura Hirshbein
Anesthesia in culture, technology, and practice…Suzanne Raga

Lydia E. Pinkham’s medical advertising…Ann Robinson
Homage a Grace and Philip Sandblom…Frank Wollheim


Neurologica: disorders of the dream world…Shameeah Abrahams
Language difficulties in the child patient…Paula Hellal

If Cleopatra were alive today…Jonathan Lewis
Screenwriting: psychiatry in reverse…Stephen Potts

Doctors, Patients, & Diseases

Breathless: philosophical lessons from resperatory illness…HH Carel
A tribe’s fattening culture and its impact on health…Victor Etuk
Quackery in the age of the Internet…Lawrence Jones
The second chart…Irene Martinez
Children do not die…Matko Marusic


Architecture and the French hospital…Sarah Hartley
The Brain…Jorge Lazareff
Medical art from the Brukenthal Museum… Alexandru Sonoc

Medicine and Literature

Lament to measles…Nazan Bilgel
Reading poems, saving lives
…Dean Gianakos
Madame Defarge: the psychology of vengeance
…Sarah Irawa
Experiencing metaphor: a medieval headache
…Jamie McKinstry


The Hippocratic Oath and the American medical profession…Chloé DeLisle
I’m not sure I’m so ethical
…Paul Kettl
Ambiguity-based evidence
Wolfgang Lederer

Becoming a Medical Professional

A physician’s account of Auschwitz…Christine Henneberg
Suffering and empathy in the stories of Anton Chekhov
…Peter McCann
As I lay dead
…James Nie

New Briefs

Carl Linnaeus…Einar Perman

Paracelsus…Alexandru Sonoc

The Summer…Alexandru Sonoc

Portrait of a peasant...A. Sonoc