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November 1969

The Human Need for an Appointment With Tomorrow

Arch Intern Med. 1969;124(5):635-636. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300210117018

The mind-body link comes up in internal medicine all the time. It rarely leaves the scene of action and it is often the central theme that underscores the symphony of complaints that the patient may recite. There are life problems—situational difficulties, unpleasant and disturbing emotional experiences—and the patient comes to the physician with a host of distressing symptoms. How to proceed? Where to focus the therapeutic effort? As an illustrative symptom complex the pattern presented by the recently retired older individual may be cited. So frequently has it been encountered as part of the work at the Center for the Study of the Aging here at Duke University that it has been referred to as the "retirement syndrome." In reviewing the basis for this pattern of symptoms, it became apparent that the syndrome not only provides an extraordinarily well-focused vignette of what is disturbing older patients, but also that it

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