Tag: doctors

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  • William Sargant’s world of psychosurgery, brainwashing and exorcism


    Mike Jay delves into the personal papers of one of the first ‘media psychiatrists’ of the 20th century, in the fourth in our blog series about the Asylum and Beyond. William Walters Sargant  (1907-88) was one of the most colourful… Continue reading

  • The language of mental health


    For the next in our series about the Asylum and Beyond, Lalita Kaplish examines her reaction to reading a 19th century book about mental illness and disorders. George Shuttleworth was a psychiatrist and an asylum superintendent at the Royal Albert… Continue reading

  • Denis Burkitt’s safari diaries


    Denis Parsons Burkitt (1911-1993), while posted at the Mulago Hospital and Makerere Medical School in Kampala, Uganda, in the 1950s and 1960s, was the first to describe a childhood cancer which became known as Burkitt’s lymphoma. From the latter 1960s… Continue reading

  • A great deal of dying in Dr Herz


    In 1893 a middle-aged American physician lay ‘dying’ in a Bournemouth hotel. Cornelius Herz was wanted by the French authorities to answer charges in connection with the death of a business partner. A warrant for his arrest was even executed… Continue reading

  • A life researching sexually transmitted infections


    Hungarian-born Dr George Csonka (1916-2000) was a venereologist and an expert in his field. A man so dedicated to his profession, he even infected himself with non-gonococcal urethritis in order to find the right antibiotic (reference: PP/CSO/A/5). Dr Csonka’s personal papers… Continue reading

  • Humanist self-fashioning and ordinary medical practice


    The next seminar in the 2015–16 History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminar Series takes place on Tuesday 24th November. Speaker: Professor Michael Stolberg Humanist self-fashioning and ordinary medical practice. The Bohemian physician Georg Handsch (1529–c. 1578) and his notebooks Abstract: The professional identity of… Continue reading

  • Doctors and the invention of the English seaside


    How did the so-called ‘sea cure’ supplant the taking of waters at fashionable spas for Georgian England’s worried well? This was the question I sought answers for in the Wellcome Library’s collections. There I found several intriguing medical tracts, not… Continue reading

  • Test of an expert witness


    When in 1836 James Marsh announced his test for the presence of arsenic, the news was greeted with huge relief. Unknown numbers of deaths, it was feared, were being attributed to diseases such as dysentery or food poisoning when the… Continue reading

  • Ashes to Ashes: doctors debate smoking


    To mark national No Smoking Day, historian Professor Tilli Tansey draws on first hand accounts of how the British medical community responded to emerging evidence of the connection between smoking and health in the 1950s. The link between good health… Continue reading

  • William Palmer: Prince of Poisoners


    William Palmer was a surgeon “of superior degree of instruction”, whose profligate lifestyle led to his ungracious demise in the mid-19th century. Palmer was charged in 1856 with the “wilful poisoning”, with strychnine, of his ‘friend’ and horse-racing partner, John Parsons Cook (to whom he… Continue reading