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Arthur Conan Doyle: The Power of Observation

Students in every medical school hear the same stories heard in every other medical school, but they usually believe that these stories happened to their own professors at their own school. Here is a story that I heard when I was in medical school in the 1950s. DR HOFF’S STORY: Dr. Hebel Hoff was chairman...

John Nash: A Beautiful Mind Dies

On May 23, 2015, John Nash and his wife were killed while riding in a taxi on the New Jersey Turnpike. The driver hit a guardrail and another car, and the Nashes, who were not wearing seatbelts, were thrown from the taxi. John Nash was 86 and Alicia Nash was 83. Nash...

Tom Magliozzi, Host of “Car Talk”

Tom Magliozzi died at age 77 on November 3, 2014 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. This horrible dementia prevents you from remembering almost anything. For 35 years he was the star of the nationally-syndicated radio show "Car Talk" with his brother Ray, hosting calls from would-be mechanics, puzzled car owners and entertained...

George Gershwin, Incorrectly Diagnosed with Depression

George Gershwin was arguably America’s greatest composer of Broadway musicals and movie film scores, and was always the bon vivant of every party he attended. He wrote the enormously successful “Swanee” at age nineteen. He was a playboy who rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, and was also a natural athlete and a...

Clyde Lovellette: Size Plus Skill

Clyde Lovellette was the first basketball player to be on teams that won N.C.A.A. and National Basketball Association championships and Olympic gold medals. At 6' 9" and 245 pounds, Lovellette was probably the first of basketball's big men to show exceptional athleticism, speed and strength. On March 9, 2016 at age 86, he died of stomach cancer.

Emile Zola and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Emile Zola was a famous French writer of the late 19th century and perhaps one of the most honorable and courageous men of all time. He repeatedly risked his life to defend Alfred Dreyfus, an innocent man who was falsely accused by corrupt French military and government officials of spying for...

Jack Lovelock, the Wonder Miler

Jack Lovelock won the 1935 Olympic 1500 meter run in a world record 3 minutes and 47.8 seconds. It was the first time since 1904 that an Olympic 1,500-meter winner had broken the world record and was also New Zealand's first Olympic gold medal ever.

Vera Caslavska, the Most Courageous Olympian

Vera Caslavska was the heroine of the 1968 Olympics, not because she was the dominant athlete at these games in which she won four gold and two silver medals in gymnastics, and not because she had won 35 Olympic medals as well as the World and European championships.

Wilhelm Weichardt’s Treatment for Chronic Fatigue

When a person becomes extraordinarily tired to the point where he or she can’t get through the day, doctors do an extensive evaluation to find the cause. They check for an infection, a hidden cancer, poison, an autoimmune disease, lack of minerals and so forth. When they have tested for every known disease and...

Van Cliburn, Cold War Hero

In 1958, at the height of the "Cold War", the Soviet Union gained an incredible coup by successfully launching Sputnik 1, the first orbiting satellite. At that time, almost all of the world’s premier pianists came from the Soviet Union, so they sponsored the first quadrennial International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow to...

Al Capp’s Li’l Abner

From 1934 to 1977, Al Capp wrote the most-read comic strip in North America, Li'l Abner, about hillbillies in the fictional town of Dogpatch, Kentucky. It had 60 million daily readers in more than 1000 newspapers in 28 countries. Li'l Abner Yokum, a stupid but good-natured hayseed, was the son of...

Joan Rivers: No Procedure is Risk-Free

UPDATE - 11/13/14 The New York Department of Health and Human Services has now determined that Joan Rivers died from brain damage caused by lack of oxygen. The report states that her medical records contain discrepancies regarding the dose of propofol she was given before surgery, and that the clinic failed "to ensure that patient...

Marion Barry, Washington’s ‘Mayor for Life’, Dead at 78

As four-time mayor of Washington, D.C., Marion Barry helped to create a city that helped the poor and disadvantaged. His programs created jobs for people out of work (many got their first jobs through his programs); allocated city contracts specifically for minorities (in 1980, 35 percent of city contracts were awarded to minority-owned firms);...

Julian Schwinger and Pancreatic Cancer

Julian Seymour Schwinger (February 12, 1918 – July 16, 1994) was one of the greatest physicists of the twentieth century. He shared a Nobel Prize in theoretical physics with another genius, Richard Feynman, for his re-normalization theory of quantum electrodynamics. Today, he is far less famous than Feynman, even though he had...

Dick Cheney: Sometimes Doctors Lie

This week former U.S Vice President Dick Cheney and his doctor came out with a new book in which they describe his five heart attacks and his heart transplant at age 71. They should tell you how the American public was kept from knowing just how sick he was. During the primaries before the...

Mamo Wolde, Olympian

In the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, 36-year-old Mamo Wolde won the marathon and took second in the 10,000-meter run. He spent the last years of his life in prison for crimes that he probably did not commit. MY CONTACT WITH MAMO WOLDE AND ABEBE BIKILA: In 1963, Olympic champion Abebe Bekila and his virtually...

Chris Klug, the Bravest Olympian

On February 15, 2002 in one of the most amazing feats of courage and athleticism, Chris Klug of the United States placed third in the Giant Slalom of Snowboarding at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City — eighteen months after receiving someone else’s liver to replace his liver that was destroyed by a...

Peter Huttenlocher, World-Famous Neurologist

The August 27, 2013 issue of the New York Times contains the obituary of Peter Huttenlocher, who died at age 82 of pneumonia, the result of Parkinson’s disease preventing him from clearing particles from his lungs. Huttenlocher was born in Germany on Feb. 23, 1931, to a chemist father and opera singer mother. They divorced...

John Enders, Vaccine Pioneer

John Enders, M.D., was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for developing virus-culturing techniques that opened the door to vaccines for polio, measles, mumps and many other life-threatening viral diseases. Many of his techniques are still used by viral laboratories today. He tutored several other Nobel Prize winners, and...

Gerty Cori’s Nobel Prize

Gerty Cori was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, in 1947, for the discovery of how muscles covert sugar to lactic acid for energy during exercise and how the lactic acid then travels in the bloodstream to the liver where it is converted back to sugar for...

Jim Bouton and Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy

Jim Bouton was not good enough to play on his high school baseball team but ended up as a professional All-Star baseball pitcher with the New York Yankees who won both of his starts in the 1964 World Series.  He was also a best-selling author, movie actor, and sportscaster and one of the creators...

Neil Armstrong’s Bypass Surgery

Neil Armstrong was a great American hero who:  • flew 78 combat missions as a Korean War military pilot,  • was a test pilot for new planes, and  • was the 1966 spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar mission. On July 20, 1969, he became the first human to walk on the moon.  He later...

Mitch Petrus Dies of Heat Stroke at 32

Mitch Petrus, who won a Super-Bowl with the New York Giants in 2011, died of heat stroke at the very young age of 32.  He had worked outside all day at his parents' shop in greater than 100 degree heat index weather during a Pan-Arkansas heat advisory.  Late in the afternoon, he felt sick,...

Steve Jobs and Pancreatic Cancer

Steve Jobs was given up for adoption at birth and went on to become a self-made billionaire even though he was never graduated from college.  He used marijuana and LSD and dropped out of Reed College in his freshman year to travel through India to study Zen Buddhism.     Jobs was a major force for the...

Nick Buoniconti and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Nick Buoniconti was a five-time All-Pro and winner of two Super Bowls in his 14-year career in the National and American Football Leagues, an All-American at the University of Notre Dame, and a highly intelligent lawyer, player’s agent, TV sports broadcaster, and corporate executive.  He died on July 30, 2019, at age 78, of...

Dr. John’s Life of Music

For more than 60 years, Dr. John sang, played and wrote songs in the blues, pop, jazz, boogie-woogie, and rock and roll.  He dressed in Mardi Gras costumes and his performances were often staged as voodoo ceremonies or folk medicine shows.  He recorded 39 albums, won six Grammy Awards and was inducted into the...

Tim Conway and Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Tim Conway starred on television for 40 years, where he played Ensign Parker on McHale's Navy for four years, created an array of comic characters on The Carol Burnett Show for 11 years, and hosted his own variety show for two years.  He received six Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, a star on Hollywood’s...

Jared Lorenzen and the Perils of Obesity

Jared Lorenzen was arguably one of the greatest high school athletes ever.  At Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, he was the football quarterback who led his team to a four-year 41-2 won/loss record, passed for 6,822 yards and had 89 career touchdown passes.  As a senior in 1998, he led his team...