Signs of the Times

[Richard C. Cabot, M.D., in "A Layman's Handbook of Medicine"]

The visceral psychoneuroses are very common. The medical profession has a considerable part in forming them. We doctors sometimes quite unintentionally direct the patient's attention altogether too much upon one or another of his bodily organs. All hygiene has this danger. To be conscious even of our health is, I think, a diseased state. We ought to be thinking about our job and not about our health or our diseases.

Half of any general practitioner's ordinary work is concerned with some type of psychoneurosis; not half that the neurologists do, but half that all of the doctors in the country are doing to-day, is to treat psychoneurotics. That is important in many ways. It seems to me most important, because very few of the doctors have ever been trained to treat a psychoneurotic; very few have any interest in it. The attitude of many a doctor is expressed in his desire to run out the side door when one of these patients appears at the front. ...

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August 14, 1920

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