Meeting Announcement

32nd Annual Hot Spots in Dermatology Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii August 16 – 18, 2019 Please consider joining us for our 2019 meeting. Hot Spots addresses clinical dermatology, emerging technologies and humane aspects of medicine. We keep the number of attendees small to assure meaningful informal sessions at which registrants and speakers have time to interact as colleagues. For more information please email Dave Elpern.

The History of the Skin in Shakespeare, Part 1

by Dr. Robert A. Norman William Shakespeare had a profound knowledge of the medicine of his day, far beyond the knowledge of any playwright, author, or even ordinary physician. Over the course of his thirty-seven plays he notes almost all the contemporary maladies and therapeutics.   R.R. Simpson, in his book Shakespeare and Medicine, cites 712 medical references in Shakespeare, and categorizes each according to subject. Shakespeare wrote about many medical issues, including the humors, herbs and plants, the effect of the planets on disease and the moon on the mind, quackery, blood-letting, sexually transmitted disease and public health, suffering, and death. My purpose in this three part article is to … Continue reading


  by Leonard Hoenig, M.D., Section Editor   Beginning with this issue, the OJCPCD presents a new feature called “A Medical Humanities Challenge” that will appear several times a year, to test your knowledge of medical humanities. Quiz #1 examines your ability to identify the medical condition in the following quote from Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet: “ Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage! You tallow face!” (Lord Capulet to Juliet:  Act 3, Scene 5) Scroll down for answer:   ANSWER:  Chlorosis (green sickness) caused by iron deficiency anemia. COMMENT:  Green sickness, or chlorosis, was a common disorder during the 16th thru 19th Centuries that typically affected young, unmarried … Continue reading

“The Doctor Is In”

A Special Tribute to Charles Schultz’s Peanuts by Leonard J. Hoenig, MD Since 1950, people of all ages have enjoyed the popular comic strip Peanuts created by the American cartoonist Charles Schultz (1922-2000). One of the endearing young children who star in the strip is Lucy Van Pelt, whose many talents include operating a psychiatric booth and offering humorous insights about life to her brother’s best friend, Charlie Brown. At the front of the booth is a sign that usually reads: “The Doctor Is In”. Recently, Lucy has had a change of heart and has decided to specialize in dermatology. Her first patient, Charlie Brown, seeks her advice because he … Continue reading

Why Nothing Works

More humanism and less science, that’s what medicine needs. But humanism is hard work, and so much of science is just Tinkertoy. Robertson Davies Why Nothing Works An Introduction to the Placebo New York Times, November 11, 2018 I have been interested in the placebo response for many years. This recent NY Times article is a good introduction to the topic. Here are some excerpts and random thoughts: The author, Gary Greenberg, attended the Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies in Leiden, Holland (2017). He met some key researchers in placebo there. There is a conviction among many that the placebo is a powerful medical treatment that is ignored by doctors … Continue reading

Thoughts on Gawande’s “The Upgrade”

In the end, we are dependent upon the creatures we have made. Goethe The Upgrade (Full New Yorker Text) Why Doctor’s Hate Computers by Atul Gawande The New Yorker, November 12, 2018 Gawande’s thesis is that the electronic medical record (EMR) has contributed greatly to the epidemic of physician burnout in the United States. A 2016 study found that physicians spend about two hours doing computer work for every hour spent face to face with a patient. The result has been epidemic levels of burnout among clinicians. Something has gone terribly wrong. The software created for the EMR has spawned this massive monster of incomprehensibility. So much of what physicians … Continue reading

My Pediatrician

by Puja Nayak “Doctor,” I say, my voice fading. I hear footsteps running and shut my eyes. Hours later, I have a wire in me. I try and pull it out but my doctor stops me. “No, don’t do that sweetie.” I give her a look. I don’t understand why I’m here. My head is hot, I am sweating, and many students surround me, taking notes. Are they talking about me? “Honey, you have something called Kawasaki.” I raise my eyebrows. “Your body and I are fighting it, so you will be okay.” She hands me a juice box and leaves the room with my parents. My pediatrician inspired me … Continue reading

Social Impact of Skin Conditions

Social Impact of Skin Conditions                                                                              Christopher Dallo, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston Corresponding Author: Christopher Dallo, B.S. 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555 915-929-9703| Keywords: Social determinants of health, Medical sociology, Acne, Beauty, Behavior The psychological impact of skin diseases in patients is a discussion that has been thoroughly discussed in medicine in recent years. The advancement in the understanding of the skin and its diverse disorders have yielded new … Continue reading

Was Marx’s Probable Enemy Hidradenitis Suppurativa?

Hidradenitis Suppurativa – Marx’s Probable Enemy Christopher Dallo, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston Corresponding Author: Christopher Dallo, B.S. 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555 915-929-9703| Abstract: This manuscript describes the history of a famous political figure who likely dealt with the hidradenitis suppurativa. This manuscript provides insight into Karl Marx’s skin disease and how it influenced aspects of his personal and professional life. Keywords: humanities, history, hidradenitis suppurativa, Karl Marx, skin disease No funding sources for the manuscript. No Conflicts of Interest. What was Karl Marx’s greatest enemy? Capitalism seems like the obvious answer. However, Karl Marx fought a foe that threatened his ability to write during his … Continue reading

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