Echo of the widow Dimanche

The registrar stood open-mouthed next to the professor. Before them was a twisted unicorn’s horn, an echo of that owned by the widow Dimanche, who sold water-cress in the streets of Paris. The patient was unmoved.

Plans were made for the removal of the horn. The patient nodded and thanked the doctors.

The registrar whistled as they walked away. “A shame there were no students today, eh, Prof…”, he said.

The professor’s eyebrows raised, “No students?”. The professor smiled as they walked on, “we are all students, my boy, we are all students…”

sebaceous horn Cornu cutaneum
Cornu cutaneum

Madame Dimanche, also known as Widow Sunday, was a French woman living in Paris in the early 19th century. At the age of 76 she began to grown a 24.9cm horn from her forehead before it was successfully removed by a French surgeon. A wax model of her head is on display at the Mütter Museum.

Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also the Innovation Lead for the Australian Centre for Health Innovation at Alfred Health and Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of two amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.