Internal medicine physicians like to pride ourselves on our clinical reasoning – the ability to talk to any patient, pluck out seemingly random bits of information, and make a mystery diagnosis. But how does this actually work? In this episode, called The History, I’ll be joined by Gurpreet Dhaliwal as we explore the beginnings of our understanding on how clinical reasoning works – starting in the middle of the 19th century with polar tensions between two ways of approaching our patients that are still felt today. Along the way, we’ll talk about the American Civil War, Car Talk, Sherlock Holmes, and whether the practice of medicine can ever be considered a science. Sign up for Digital Education 2022 here: https://cmecatalog.hms.harvard.edu/digital-education Sources: Fitzgerald F, Curiosity. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/full/10.7326/0003-4819-130-1-199901050-00015 Montgomery K, How Doctors Thinks (amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/How-Doctors-Think-Clinical-Judgment/dp/0195187121) Da Costa J, Medical Diagnosis, 1864. https://openlibrary.org/books/OL23402241M/Medical_diagnosis
Modern plastic surgery was born out of the horrors of trench warfare in World War I. In this episode, Adam interviews historian Lindsey Fitzharris about her new book The Facemaker, about the life of surgeon Harold Gillies and his quest to rebuild his patients' faces.
In the early 19th century, a strange new illness, seemingly unknown to medicine, ravaged settler communities in the American Middle West. As fierce debates about this new disease, now called milk sickness, raged – was it from toxic swamp gasses? arsenic in the soil? infectious microorganisms? from the poor constitutions of the settlers – an irregular medicine woman named Dr. Anna and an indigenous Shawnee healer discovered the cause of the disease and successfully prevented it in their community. But their discovery went unheeded for over a half century. This is a live podcast that I gave to the South Dakota chapter of the American College of Physicians – plus a new Stethospeaks with Dr. Umme H. Faisal on the history of Resusci-Annie’s mysteriously serene face! Teepublic store: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/bedsiderounds Sources: DOYLE JT. Milk sickness. N C Med J. 1947 Jul;8(7):404-10. PMID: 20250350. Furbee L, Snively WD Jr. Milk sickness, 1811-1966: a bibliography. J Hist Med Allied Sci. 1968 Jul;23(3):276-85. doi: 10.1093/jhmas/xxiii.3.276. PMID: 4875594. HARTMANN AF Sr, HARTMANN AF Jr, PURKERSON ML, WESLEY ME. Tremetol poisoning--not yet extinct. JAMA. 1963 Aug 31;185:706-9. doi: 10.1001/jama.1963.03060090038014. PMID: 13953145. Niederhofer RE. The milk sickness. Drake on medical interpretation. JAMA. 1985 Oct 18;254(15):2123-5. PMID: 3900448. Pickard ME and Buley RC, The Midwest Pioneer; His Ills, Cures, & Doctors. 1945. Snively WD Jr, Furbee L. Discoverer of the cause of milk sickness (Anna Pierce Hobbs Bixby). JAMA. 1966 Jun 20;196(12):1055-60. PMID: 5327806. Stenn F. Pioneer History of Milk Sickness. Ann Med Hist. 1937 Jan;9(1):23-29. PMID: 33943945; PMCID: PMC7942921. Townsend RB. Milk sickness- a plague on the new west. Scalpel Tongs. 1999 Jan-Feb;43(1):13-5. PMID: 11623628. Walker JW. Milk-sickness. Science. 1886 Dec 10;8(201):540. doi: 10.1126/science.ns-8.201.540. PMID: 17741312.
Burnout seems to stalk healthcare workers; between a third and a half of doctors and nurses had symptoms of burnout BEFORE the COVID-19 pandemic. Major medical associations have recognized burnout as a serious problem and the condition is being added to ICD-11 as an “occupational phenomenon.” How did we get ourselves into this situation? How has burnout gotten so bad? In this episode, the first #HistMedConsultService, I’m joined by historians of healthcare and emotions Agnes Arnold-Forster and Sam Schotland to historicize burnout. Along the way, we’ll talk about the different structural factors that have colored burnout in North America and the United Kingdom; the disgruntled pediatrician syndrome, physician “impairment”, whether burnout is a disease, and what we might all be able to do to make everyone less miserable. Sources: https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMp2112095 https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/04/29/covid-19-only-exacerbated-longer-pattern-healthcare-worker-stress/
How can we medically tell whether or not someone is alive or dead? The answer is much more complicated than you'd think. In this episode, which is a live podcast I gave with Tony Breu at the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians annual meeting on October 16, 2021, we track the evolution and controversies of the death exam, from a trans-Atlantic scandal surrounding a possible vivisection, a 19th century “X-prize” to determine a technology that could diagnose death, the important distinction between “permanent” and irreversible, and the mysterious Lazarus phenomenon. References: Rodman A, Breu A. The last breath: historical controversies surrounding determination of cardiopulmonary death. Chest. 2021; [online ahead of print August 13, 2021]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2021.08.006
Nov 4, 2021
During World War II, the US Army launched a seemingly routine experiment to find the ideal way to screen soldiers for tuberculosis. Jacob Yerushalmy, the statistician in charge of this project, would succeed at this task -- and end up fundamentally changing our conception of medical diagnosis in the process. This episode features Dr. Shani Herzig, as well as a new segment featuring Dr. Umme H. Faisal on Yellapragada Subbarow and his discovery of ATP. Bedside Rounds store: https://www.teepublic.com/stores/bedsiderounds Umme H. Faisal on Twitter: @stethospeaks
Oct 3, 2021
What does it mean when different physicians disagree about a diagnosis? I am joined by Dr. Shani Herzig as we explore this issue in the second part of my series on the development of diagnosis. We’re going to discuss the advent of signal detection theory in the middle of the 20th century as new diagnostics such as laboratory testing and x-rays started to challenge the classical view of diagnosis. Along the way, we’re going to talk about focal infection theory and why it seems that everyone in older generations had their tonsils removed as children, early and very inefficient chest x-rays, British radar operators trying to figure out if they were looking at a flock of geese or a German bomber, and finally probably one of the most important people in medical diagnostics that you’ve never heard of -- Jacob Yerushalmy. If you want to purchase any Bedside Rounds swag, the store is at https://www.teepublic.com/stores/bedsiderounds.
Aug 22, 2021
Elizabeth Blackwell -- the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States -- and her sister Emily Blackwell are some of the most important physicians of the 19th century, firmly establishing the role of women as physicians, starting an infirmary and hospital for poor women and children, and founding a women’s medical college that was decades ahead of its time. In this episode, Dr. Nora Taranto joins me to explore the legacy of the Blackwells along with Janice Nimura, who recently published a biography of the sisters.
May 9, 2021
Words matter. At its best, etymology gives us insight not only into the origins of words, but why they remain so important today, especially in medicine, where we’ve been accruing jargon for millennia. In this episode, we’re delving into four specific words -- doctor, cerebrovascular accident, rounds, and zebras. And along the way, we’re going to discuss pre-historical pastoralists on the Eurasian steppes, medieval universities, Octagonal air-ventilated chambers in 19th century Baltimore, and of course, early 21st century sitcoms. Works cited: OSLER W. THE NATURAL METHOD OF TEACHING THE SUBJECT OF MEDICINE. JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(24):1673–1679. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470240001001 Fair, A 2014, 'A Laboratory of Heating and Ventilation: The Johns Hopkins Hospital as experimental architecture, 1870–90', The Journal of Architecture, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 357-81. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2014.930063 Engelhardt E. Apoplexy, cerebrovascular disease, and stroke: Historical evolution of terms and definitions. Dement Neuropsychol. 2017 Oct-Dec;11(4):449-453. doi: 10.1590/1980-57642016dn11-040016. PMID: 29354227; PMCID: PMC5770005. Coupland AP, Thapar A, Qureshi MI, Jenkins H, Davies AH. The definition of stroke. J R Soc Med. 2017 Jan;110(1):9-12. doi: 10.1177/0141076816680121. Epub 2017 Jan 13. PMID: 28084167; PMCID: PMC5298424. An Updated Definition of Stroke for the 21st Century Ralph L. Sacco, MD, MS, FAHA, FAAN, Co-Chair, Scott E. Kasner, MD, MSCE, FAHA, FAAN, Co-Chair, Joseph P. Broderick, MD, FAHA, Louis R. Caplan, MD, J.J. (Buddy) Connors, MD, Antonio Culebras, MD, FAHA, FAAN, Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, FAHA, FAAN, Mary G. George, MD, MSPH, FAHA, Allen D. Hamdan, MD, Randall T. Higashida, MD, Brian L. Hoh, MD, FAHA, L. Scott Janis, PhD, Carlos S. Kase, MD, Dawn O. Kleindorfer, MD, FAHA, Jin-Moo Lee, MD, PhD, Michael E. Moseley, PhD, Eric D. Peterson, MD, MPH, FAHA, Tanya N. Turan, MD, MS, FAHA, Amy L. Valderrama, PhD, RN, and Harry V. Vinters, MD on behalf of the American Heart Association Stroke Council, Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia, Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease, and Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism Harrison F, Roberts AE, Gabrilska R, Rumbaugh KP, Lee C, Diggle SP. A 1,000-Year-Old Antimicrobial Remedy with Antistaphylococcal Activity. mBio. 2015;6(4):e01129. Published 2015 Aug 11. doi:10.1128/mBio.01129-15 Furner-Pardoe J, Anonye BO, Cain R, Moat J, Ortori CA, Lee C, Barrett DA, Corre C, Harrison F. Anti-biofilm efficacy of a medieval treatment for bacterial infection requires the combination of multiple ingredients. Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 28;10(1):12687. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69273-8. PMID: 32724094; PMCID: PMC7387442. American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, third edition, 2011 Oxford English Dictionary Online Johnson S, Dictionary. Retrieved online: https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/doctor-noun/ Riva MA. No renaissance for doctors in Shakespeare's plays. BMJ. 2017 May 22;357:j2223. doi: 10.1136/bmj.j2223. PMID: 28533302.
Mar 28, 2021
For a special holiday treat, we’re going to explore two tales of salmonella disease detectives -- the first about Mary Mallon (“Typhoid Mary”) and the birth of the genre; and the second about a mysterious salmonella outbreak at Massachusetts General Hospital solved with the assistance of a very jolly patient. Along the way, we’ll talk about clinical epidemiology, the long-lasting influence of Berton Roueché, and the joys of being an internist! You can sign up for the Digital Education conference at cmeregistration.hms.harvard.edu/digitaleducation. Sources: Buckle GC, Fischer Walker CL, and Black RE, Typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever: Systematic review to estimate global morbidity and mortality for 2010.J Glob Health. 2012 Jun; 2(1): 010401. Marineli F et al, Mary Mallon (1869-1938) and the history of typhoid fever.Ann Gastroenterol. 2013; 26(2): 132–134. Soper GA, The Curious Career of Typhoid Mary, read on May 10, 1939 before the Section of Historical and Cultural Medicine. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1911442/pdf/bullnyacadmed00595-0063.pdf Norrington B, Cochineal: A Little Insect Goes a Long Way, UCSB Geography. Roueche B, The Santa Claus Culture, The New Yorker, Aug 27, 1971. Lang DJ et al, Carmine as a Source of Nosocomial Salmonellosis, NEJM. Apr 13, 1967. You can buy Medical Detectives here: https://www.amazon.com/Medical-Detectives-Collection-Award-Winning-Investigative/dp/0452265886
Dec 23, 2020