A change of heart

A doctor’s visit, Anton Chekhov (1898) ‘I have palpitations of the heart’ she said, ‘It was so awful all night….I almost died of fright! Do give me something.’ ‘I will, I will; don’t worry yourself.’ Korolyov examined her and shrugged his shoulders. ‘The heart is all right’, he said; ‘it’s all going on satisfactorily; everything Read More …

Laugh ironic, laugh Byronic, laugh sardonic

27th May 1892 Three incidents have made me laugh to-day: the laugh ironic, the laugh Byronic, and the laugh sardonic! Firstly, on visiting an elderly patient who has suffered acutely for many years from a form of tic douloureux, I found her overjoyed at the wonderfully beneficial effects of some pills which I had prescribed. Read More …

The secret in the throat

The use of force. William Carlos Williams.  The child was fairly eating me up with her cold, steady eyes and no expression to her face whatever.  But her face was flushed, she was breathing rapidly, and I realized that she had a high fever. She had magnificent blonde hair, in profusion. One of those picture Read More …

Dance pseudomacabre

William Carlos Williams.  The baby is in a smother of sheets and crumpled blankets. Its left eye closed, its right partly opened. It emits a soft whining cry continuously at every breath. It can’t be more than a few weeks old. Will it live? It is the mother: a great tender-eyed blonde. Great full breasts. Read More …

What did I gain in my training?

First, I had mastered the practical basis of my profession, the art and craft of Medicine, which begins and develops only after a man leaves University and Hospital. Secondly, I had endured an extremely severe training and initiation: the very best I could have had. It not only made one exact, punctual, and methodical; but Read More …

Medical precautions – bloody cheek

Joy of chaperones. Posy Simmonds.  Commentary We are advised to use a chaperone almost always. A perceptive observer, Simmonds puts her finger on the lack of trust implied, and its effect on both parties. Further info Cartoon reproduced by kind permission of the author GMC on chaperones Medical defence associations, royal colleges, and medical schools Read More …

A remote doctor in 1948 Colorado

Every few years Eugene Smith’s classic Life magazine photostory is uncovered again. See all the photos in better resolution (Time Magazine). Commentary It is an extraordinary record, beautifully captured, which follows a new young doctor, Ernest Ceriani, one year into his experience in rural America in the late 1940s. The item was a massive success Read More …