Medical History

Jewish History in Vesalius’s Fabrica

This is another post to mark the 500th birthday of Andreas Vesalius, author of the great anatomy text entitled De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body) – the lavishly illustrated masterpiece that combined art and medicine. The Fabrica will be 472 years old

  17.09.2014

Arion Triumphant

This post is written in honor of the 500th birthday of the great anatomist, Andreas Vesalius, who combined art and medicine in his landmark masterpiece, De Humani Corporis Fabrica. I am a lifelong fan of Vesalius and currently collaborating with the physician-scholar Michael Nevins on a

  1.09.2014

Philippe Pinel and the Lunar Society in New Jersey

Last week I had the opportunity to give a lecture at the Lunar Society – an offshoot of the Medical History Society of New Jersey – on the campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Lunar Society is named after a British social club in

  17.02.2014

Dakin’s Solution: Past, Present, and Future.

This article on the history of Dakin’s Solution was published in the journal, Advances in Skin & Wound Care.  Dakin’s solution has been used for almost a century for treatment of infected wounds. Developed by a biochemist named Henry Dakin in the early 20th Century, it

  14.09.2013

Photographing Letchworth Village

We often think that medical progress marches in a straight line, but that is not the case.  Some ideas change the field rapidly, while others sit by the sidelines for decades before being accepted.  Others are accepted by the medical profession like a fad only to

  10.09.2013

Wounds of a Boxer: Medical Secrets from Ancient Rome

Over the past month an ancient sculptural masterpiece has been on temporary display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Greek and Roman halls. On loan from Rome’s Museo Nazionale Romano, “Boxer at Rest” depicts a battered pugilist immediately after a fight. His face bears evidence of broken

  14.07.2013

Historical Roots of the “Avoidable-Unavoidable” Pressure Ulcer Controversy

Some years ago while browsing in an antiquarian bookstore I opened a volume entitled Lectures on the Diseases of the Central Nervous System by Jean Martin Charcot published in 1877. Among the yellowed pages was an illustration of a necrotic sacral pressure ulcer, and my heart

  10.12.2012

Painting, Poetry, and Medicine: Charles Demuth and William Carlos Williams

The special exhibit entitled Stieglitz and His Artists which recently closed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art had on view an American masterwork which was the fruit of collaboration between a physician-poet and a painter.  The name of the painting is “I saw the Figure 5

  23.01.2012

Wound Healing Products: From Ancient to Modern Mythology

Greek mythology tells us that filings from the rusty spear of Achilles were used successfully on a non-healing wound.  To this legacy of using metal derivatives to heal wounds, a newer, more modern mythology has been added.  This is the use of silver in wound-care dressings.           Telephus

  22.04.2010

Falls, Aging, and the Bible

Falls are a major problem in geriatric patients.  As persons age, falls and their consequences become increasingly more serious.  According to the American Geriatrics Society, for those over age 65 and over, 35 to 40% of community dwelling persons fall annually.  As people get sicker and

  3.02.2010

Dr. Jeffrey M. Levine has authored numerous articles on topics related to healthcare of the elderly. These include medical history, prevention and treatment of chronic wounds such as pressure ulcers, elder neglect and abuse, and physical restraints. He has also edited a book on legal and regulatory aspects of nursing homes.