Medicine: Life & Stress

When Hans Selye was a precocious 18-year-old medical student in Prague, a professor trotted out a succession of patients who all looked and felt ill, had assorted aches and pains, usually with some fever and local swelling or inflammation. The trouble, the professor explained, was that these patients had not yet developed any of the few specific symptoms by which he could pinpoint just what particular disease each suffered from. To the bright-eyed Selye, this was only half the story at best: in his view, all the patients already suffered from a state of "just being sick," which medicine was ignoring....

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