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January 28, 1939


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1939;112(4):311-317. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.62800040004009

In one of a series of lectures in therapeutics delivered in this country in 1933 Dr. Francis Fraser1 of Saint Bartholomew Hospital, London, said:

So long as there is no anxiety medical advice is not sought, and when fears arise they may not be expressed, and are often scarcely realized, but it is well that the physician should appreciate that fear is present and that it is no less real because it is not confessed. What the patient is really saying is "What does this symptom or this loss of efficiency mean to me, to my future?" and "Can you make me well?" The duty of the physician is then clear; he must endeavor to answer these questions, and the answer to the first is dependent on the answer to the second. The answer to the first question, or the prognosis, cannot be given unless the disease process present