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March 18, 1911


Author Affiliations

Professor of Nervous Diseases, Cornell University Medical College NEW YORK

JAMA. 1911;LVI(11):787-791. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560110001001

In one of Horace's Epistles, he speaks of an ægrimonia fastidiosa, an expression which indicates an illness characterized by certain niceties of suffering, and not by the common and every-day variety of pain.

It is to this field of what may be called fastidious, though not unreal, distress that I invite some attention now; and my excuse is, that I believe it greatly deserves and will amply repay serious study and patient attention. For the time has come for the physician to study the subjective side of his patient more carefully, and the psychology of suffering in general, so that he can learn and interpret the patient's state of mind, as thoroughly as he does that of the body.

The research into human ailments by present methods has nearly reached its limit so far as clinical study goes. It must be continued in the laboratories, and from the methods of