Dr. Howard Markel writes a monthly column for the PBS NewsHour, highlighting the anniversary of a momentous event that continues to shape modern medicine. He is the director of the Center for the History of Medicine and the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan.
He is the author or editor of 10 books, including “Quarantine! East European Jewish Immigrants and the New York City Epidemics of 1892,” “When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America Since 1900 and the Fears They Have Unleashed” and “An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine.”
Health Jan 21How the quest to preserve Lenin’s body helps the living
Over the last century, the Lenin preservation laboratory has created a long list of measures that help patients.
Health Dec 17What caused Beethoven’s deafness?
It is a query that has invited many diagnoses over the last 200 years.
Health Nov 22John F. Kennedy kept these medical struggles private
Long before he died at age 46, President John F. Kennedy was a very sick man.
Health Oct 18How Dracula draws on our biggest health fears
"Dracula" abounds with fascinating references to medicine of the day.
Health Sep 14Would McKinley have survived an assassin’s bullet if he had a different doctor?
The man best suited to operate on the president was a legendary surgeon with extensive experience in treating abdominal wounds. He, however, was in Niagara Falls. McKinley died on Sept. 14, 1901.
Health Aug 19How Groucho Marx fell prey to elder abuse
The turmoil of Groucho's last few years are all too familiar to adult children everywhere who are concerned with the welfare of their elderly parents and other relatives.
Health Jul 14This genetic brain disorder turned Woody Guthrie’s life from songs to suffering
Huntington's disease -- which Guthrie inherited from his mother -- can lead to serious mood disorders, uncoordinated and involuntary body movements, balance problems, psychotic breaks, dementia and death.
Health Jun 21The day Judy Garland’s star burned out
A singer of remarkable power and range, Garland was one of the brightest stars. But she also suffered a lifetime of mental and physical health problems, fueled by addiction.
Arts May 17How ‘Raisin in the Sun’ author Lorraine Hansberry defined what it meant to be ‘young, gifted and black’
Before her early death of pancreatic cancer, the groundbreaking writer made history with "A Raisin in the Sun."…
Health Apr 23Why Shakespeare’s own finale remains a closed book
In "Hamlet," William Shakespeare contemplated the fact that once a person dies, no living person knows where that departed soul goes. That same uncertainty hovers around the final hours of the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon.