Medicine is sprinkled with metaphorical crumbs

2015-01-food-metaphorsMy colleague Lisa Kipersztok (a final-year medical student at Tufts University) and I (Gwinyai Masukume, at the University of the Witwatersrand)  have collected and arranged a new feast of medical food metaphors.

We follow in the footsteps of hungry giants. In the late 1970s Terry and Hanchard in their seminal paper, titled Gastrology: the use of culinary terms in medicine” [PDF]appearing in the British Medical Journal, offered the real first course of food-related medical terms in medical literature.

Almost 50 years later this all consuming field of medicine continues to bear fruitful papers. Lisa and I developed a taste for these medical food-derived terms as used in Pediatrics.

Bridging art and science, we share culinary medical terms, include hand-painted illustrations and offer food for thought on how these terms help and also challenge healthcare workers today. Here is our paper, Food for thought: Palatable eponyms from Pediatrics,” [PDF], in the December 2014 issue of the Malta Medical Journal.

For the food (and medical) connoisseurs, here is a detailed list we prepared, providing a feast for the senses.

And for those who might be wondering how some people see food in unusual places please see the illustrative image (egg-on-string-sign found in a particular heart abnormality) – seeing food is an inexact science!

Egg-on-string sign, images from:

BONUS: Previously on this blog another slice from this delectable field.