By Clifton K. Meador M.D.

For years after graduating from clinical institution, Dr. Clifton ok. Meador assumed that indicators of the physique, while evidently now not imaginary, point out a affliction of the body—something to be taken care of with medicines, surgical procedure, or different conventional ability. yet, over a number of a long time, as he observed sufferers with transparent indicators yet no discernable sickness, he concluded that his personal assumptions have been too slim and, certainly, that the underlying foundation for a lot of scientific drugs was once seriously limited.

Recounting a chain of interesting case reports, Meador exhibits during this ebook how he got here to reject a strict adherence to the existing biomolecular version of ailment and its separation of brain and physique. He studied different theories and approaches—George Engel’s biopsychosocial version of ailment, Michael Balint’s research of physicians as pharmacological agents—and adjusted his perform consequently to regard what he referred to as ''nondisease.'' He needed to retool, examine new and extra in-depth interviewing and listening thoughts, and suffer what Balint termed a ''slight yet major swap in personality.''

In chapters like ''The lady Who Believed She used to be a Man'' and ''The Diarrhea of Agnes,'' Meador finds either the massive damage which may outcome from mistaken diagnoses of nonexistent illnesses and the tools he constructed to aid sufferers with persistent signs no longer outlined by way of a scientific affliction. in the course of the e-book, he recommends next reviews to check his observations, and he urges complete program of the clinical way to the doctor-patient dating, declaring that few target reviews of those all-important interactions have ever been performed.

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Extra resources for Symptoms of Unknown Origin: A Medical Odyssey

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Initially, I dismissed the tale as a superstitious display of primitive ignorance. But it was evident that Vanders believed at the deepest level that he All Some Patients Need 31 was cursed and doomed to die. I wondered how words could be so powerful that they can induce death. Can just words, mere words, have that power? It was a completely new concept to me—almost beyond belief. That was why I kept asking others to verify the story, and they did. Eventually I had to accept the story as true. I could not find a hole or crack in it.

The other troubling problem that came from my attempted collaboration with the psychiatrists was the poorly defined nomenclature of psychiatry. I realize now that the “science” of the mind was still very young and not well developed. In contrast to the emerging precision of endocrinology, psychiatry was still primitive. ” The definitions for these diagnoses were vague, and they did not direct a specific treatment. At this point, all I knew was that psychiatry was no help with these patients with physical symptoms but no demonstrable disease.

The medical scientific gulf between doctors trained before and those trained after World War II was wide and nearly unbridgeable. Although my dream was academic medicine, I had run out of money. At that time, academic medicine paid salaries of around three thousand dollars a year. With a wife and two young sons, I needed income. I accepted an offer to join Dr. Doherty and his group. My contracted salary in practice offered nine thousand dollars a year, the going rate for internists in 1961. I would practice medicine and see where life led me.

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