Medical references and curiosities in the Sherlock Holmes stories

Jan D Kampmann
Med J Aust 2019; 211 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50415
Published online: 9 December 2019

The bonds between medicine and Sherlock Holmes are strong: included in the 60 Holmes adventures are references to 68 diseases, 32 medical terms, 38 doctors, 22 drugs, 12 medical specialties, six hospitals, three medical journals, and two medical schools.1 His cases spanned the globe, including Australia; in “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” (1891), the cry of “cooee!” was essential to identifying the murderer as a member of the Australian Ballarat gang. In this brief overview, I will look at some of the more curious medical phenomena encountered by Holmes and place them in a modern context.

  • Jan D Kampmann

  • Hospital of Southern Jutland, Sønderborg, Denmark


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