JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Assistant Editor.
It has often been said that it is not work but worry that kills. Perhaps
no better exemplification of the truth of the saying can be found than the
number of hardworking physicians, occupied unceasingly with great problems
in medicine, who have nevertheless lived to what may well be considered an
advanced age. Virchow's long life of nearly 81 years of strenuous devotion
to work, so recently closed, is only a type of the prolongation of existence
and usefulness that has fortunately been the lot of some of the greatest of
the medical investigators. Longevity has been the rule, however, not only
for the laboratory worker who in the placid preoccupation of original observation
avoided the distraction of mind and the diversion of activity incident on
medical practice, but also for the man who is able to combine both successfully.
In fact, while the average life of the practicing physician is the shortest
of any of the professions, most of the great investigating practitioners have
lived lives so long as to encourage every medical man to take up original
observation, if with no other idea than that of assuring himself longevity.
PHYSICIANS AND LONGEVITY.. JAMA. 2002;288(18):2344. doi:10.1001/jama.288.18.2344