The Never-ending Twists about ‘The French Disease’

by Godfrey Onime I am reminded of an observation made by an African comedian at a wedding reception I once attended in Atlanta. He quipped that the English language tends to identify even the most hideous diseases by the most beautiful names. Names so lyrical, so poetic, so sensuous you almost wish to contract the…

Asking Questions About Vaccines Does Not Make You Anti-Science

by Godfrey Onime Ponder this. It is the 15th century and you have a high chance of contracting and dying from a rampant infection. Turns out that you could intentionally infect yourself with a small dose of the contagion, get slightly sick, and become protected for life. Of course, things are not always that simple. …

Is Joe Biden Mentally Fit to Be President? Here’s What Doctors Think

by Godfrey Onime Just months after the new president was sworn into office, a would-be assassin’s bullet whizzed through the air and sliced into his chest. It  cracked his rib, punctured his left lung, and barely missed his heart.  It was March 30th, 1981 and Ronald Reagan was rushed to the George Washington University Hospital, in…

“What could the world hold for a maimed, crippled man?” —The Heartbreaking Story of Artificial Limbs

by Godfrey Onime Consider the case of James Edward Hanger, who was only 18 when the American civil war erupted. A promising engineering student, he left his studies at Washington College (now Washington & Lee University) to enlist in the military. The date was June 1, 1861. Fate had other plans for the young man…

Why Most Doctors Don’t Wash Their Hands

by Godfrey Onime At the hospital a couple of years ago, a nurse walked up to me to report that one of my patients was “hysterical.” “She says to make sure Dr. X never returns to her room,” the nurse explained. I was the patient’s internist and Dr. X the surgeon who had operated on…

The Kidney Dialysis Puzzle

by Godfrey Onime “Dr. Onime, your patient in room 607 is throwing a fit,” read the nurse’s message on my iPhone. “He wants to leave. What should I do?” I was half-way through lunch. I placed a call to the nurse and asked her to try and convince the patient to stay until I got…