Essay: A Nation of Hypochondriacs

The main impression growing out of twelve years on the faculty of a medical school is that the No. 1 health problem in the U.S. today, even more than AIDS or cancer, is that we don't know how to think about health and illness. Our reactions are formed on the terror level. We fear the worst, expect the worst, thus invite the worst. The result is that we are becoming a nation of weaklings and hypochondriacs, a self-medicating society incapable of distinguishing between casual, everyday symptoms and those that require professional attention.

Somewhere in our early education we become addicted to...

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