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Thomas Linacre and the Royal College of Physicians

Thomas Linacre and the Royal College of Physicians

The Royal College of Physicians is a U.K. based, internationally recognised, professional body that is dedicated to the improvement of medical practice and patient care. It is also the oldest royal medical college in the world. In 2006 I became a member of the Royal...
The Story of the Tendon Hammer

The Story of the Tendon Hammer

The tendon hammer is one of the most historically resilient medical instruments still in use today. It is a simple yet invaluable device that can be used to diagnose a wide variety of nervous system and muscular disorders. Almost 130 years after the invention of the...
Willem Einthoven and the Electrocardiogram

Willem Einthoven and the Electrocardiogram

ECG interpretation has long been a guilty pleasure of mine. One of the first books I purchased as a medical student was the ‘ECG Made Easy’. After reading that book for the first time ECG interpretation seemed far from easy and I didn’t develop a strong grasp of...
Dr Joseph Bell: The Real Life Sherlock Holmes

Dr Joseph Bell: The Real Life Sherlock Holmes

I have been fascinated with the detective Sherlock Holmes since childhood. His almost supernatural powers of observation and deduction in stories such as ‘The Sign of the Four’, ‘The Speckled Band’, and ‘A Study in Scarlet’ captivated me and I have re-read them many...
The Russian Plague of 1770-1772

The Russian Plague of 1770-1772

In the summer of 2016 a 10-year-old Russian boy cut himself skinning a marmot whilst hunting with his grandfather in the remote Kosh-Agach region in the Atlai Mountains. A few days later he developed a fever and a flu-like illness and was taken to a local hospital. He...
Claudius Galen

Claudius Galen

The Greek physician, Claudius Galen, is considered to be one of the most important figures in the history of Medicine. Galen was the greatest physician of his era and was also a skilled surgeon and renowned philosopher. He was responsible for numerous advances in the...
The Dancing Plague of 1518

The Dancing Plague of 1518

In the summer of 1518 in the city of Strasbourg, Alsace, a woman by the name of Frau Troffea took to the streets and started to dance. She continued to dance day and night without stopping. No one knows why she started but within a few days others started to join in....
The Story of Rene Laennec and the First Stethoscope

The Story of Rene Laennec and the First Stethoscope

No single piece of equipment is more synonymous with the medical profession than the stethoscope. I can vividly remember wearing my brand new Littmann stethoscope with pride on ward rounds as a medical student, desperately trying to discern diastolic murmurs and extra...
The Mysterious Sweating Sickness

The Mysterious Sweating Sickness

The Middle Ages are renowned for being a turbulent and difficult period of history. War, famine and disease occurred throughout the period and one of the most devastating pandemics in history, the Black Death, occurred in the mid 14th century. The Black Death was not...