Women’s Day: Dr James Barry

Today is National Women’s Day in South Africa. It commemorates the many women – of all races and creeds – who marched against Apartheid’s Pass System on this day in 1956. (Obviously, women’s suffrage was of importance also.) The changing face of medicine reminds me daily how lucky I am to be a woman today,Continue reading “Women’s Day: Dr James Barry”

TTT: Books to Movies

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is a little counter-intuitive for me. My first love was, and will always be, books. I always watch movies based on books, but I am more often than not disappointed. It’s great that non-readers get to enjoy these stories too, but often they don’t get the deeperContinue reading “TTT: Books to Movies”

Cool Medical Students of History: Paul Langerhans

This is a Langerhans cell. Langerhans cells are dendritic cells found in the epidermis (that is, the uppermost layer of the skin) and should not be confused with the Islets of Langerhans found in the Pancreas – and incidentally named after the same person. Langerhans cells are antigen-presenting cells – in other words, they formContinue reading “Cool Medical Students of History: Paul Langerhans”

Ectoparasite Infections in Art, Literature and History

Because today is a study day (and I would like to study, for once), today is a quick post. One of the chapters in Dermatology is about ectoparasite infections of the skin. These include crabs (Pthirus Pubis) and fleas (yes, humans can get fleas). And, just to show how relevant these are, here is yourContinue reading “Ectoparasite Infections in Art, Literature and History”

Book Review: The Garden of Evening Mists

A few months ago, an awesome thing happened: I was contacted by Myrmidon Books to participate in a Virtual Book Tour (my first time ever). Very exciting, and nice to get to read a book without buying it too (you were all thinking it, no lies). The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan EngContinue reading “Book Review: The Garden of Evening Mists”

The Original Guinea Pigs

We are currently doing our Infectious Diseases and Clinical Immunology theory block – which means lots of freaky latin names and difficulty staying awake in class. Occasionally though, our class is graced by a lecturer with some spunk. This is South Africa: needless to say, Tuberculosis was one of the first things discussed. You knowContinue reading “The Original Guinea Pigs”

World Leprosy Day

Stigma should not be seen as residing in an individual with a disease, but it resides in the society that has not found a way to be inclusive. We have a duty to diagnose and treat the stigma. John Manton, The International Leprosy Association, 2007 Perhaps the first disease I knew of, thanks to myContinue reading “World Leprosy Day”

I like scientists with a sense of humour

Here is a fun “did-you-know”: In 1928, scientist  Albert Szent-Györgyi, working at Cambridge University, discovered an unknown compound in some foods. He was sure it was a sugar, but not sure which sugar. Confessing his ignorance while sticking to the common nomenclature of sugar, he called it “ignose”. When he submitted his paper to the BiochemicalContinue reading “I like scientists with a sense of humour”

Medical History: Unsung Heroes of Polio

The year was 1952 and the city of Copenhagen, Denmark, was struggling against her biggest outbreak of Poliomyelitis yet. Many of their patients’ paralysis was progressing to the extent that respiratory support was needed – their respiratory muscles were being affected. But the treatment known at the time was use of the Iron Lung, picturedContinue reading “Medical History: Unsung Heroes of Polio”