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September 2, 1988

Hypochondria: Woeful Imaginations

Author Affiliations

Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical School Chicago

Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical School Chicago

JAMA. 1988;260(9):1299. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410090133048

Having been a confirmed hypochondriac for most of my life, I approached this book on the subject with the guarded enthusiasm that seems characteristic of most sickly people on their way to the doctor. When I was in medical school, almost all of my fellow students spent a good deal of time checking for lymph node enlargement or worrying over funny-looking spots to see if they were changing color or enlarging. We all got over it to some degree and moved on to comparing cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein levels, but a bit of worrying is a constant companion to most physicians whom I know. In this highly informative and entertaining book, Susan Baur tells us that Medical Student's Disease is also seen in law students, and also that our society seems to encourage a morbid interest in funny-looking spots and being sick in general.

As I read on through the