death, dissection, Galen, Hippocrates, museums and collections

Theatres of Anatomy

Every other year, I lead a tour group which visits two historic anatomy theatres: the oldest permanent structure, the Padua anatomy theatre of 1594, and the 1638-39 one in Bologna. Before 1594, anatomy theatres were temporary structures, in some cases erected at the expense of the professor performing the dissection. On the tour, we usually… Continue reading Theatres of Anatomy

dissection, Galen, Hippocrates, teaching

Where’s Hippocrates?

While we're thinking about Vesalius and dissection, here's a question. Do you know the ‘Where’s Wally?’ series (in the US and Canada, ‘Where’s Waldo?’)? Readers are faced with a busy scene and are asked to find Wally, distinguished by his red-and-white striped shirt, bobble hat and glasses. When I've taught fourth-year medical students about the… Continue reading Where’s Hippocrates?

Hippocrates, remedies

Hairs of Hippocrates?

Did Hippocrates develop a remedy against baldness because he was worried about his own hair loss? As readers of my previous posts here will know, normally when Hippocrates gets dragged into a modern medical discussion it’s to validate whatever the writer is trying to sell; for example, watercress. But in the discussions of baldness, the… Continue reading Hairs of Hippocrates?

diseases, gender, Hippocrates, love

What is this thing called lovesickness?

A very nasty condition in earlier medicine was something called lovesickness. Check yourself out: are you looking pale? Sleeping badly? Finding it difficult to concentrate? Sighing a lot? Are you off your food? These symptoms, history tells us, may point to lovesickness as your problem. When is love a disease?  The first stages of being in… Continue reading What is this thing called lovesickness?