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It has been said that no one understands a disease until he has had it himself. Though this proverb stretches truth to the breaking point trying to make an aphorism, there is much to be said for a personal illness to give insights. A physician's personal illness should make him more sympathetic. Certainly one does not have to endure all diseases to understand sick persons, but a severe experience may be helpful. Perhaps in another category fall the great cluster of diseases which are discussed in this book about disabilities, a good many being accidents or acute episodes, such as subarachnoid hemorrhage, prolapsed intervertebral disk, broken back, paroxysmal auricular fibrillation, and coronary thrombosis. For the most part, though, this collection of essays, written anonymously, deals with injury or illness of a chronic kind. Since the internist or family practitioner has more and more the care of chronic disease in an
Bean WB. Disabilities and How to Live with Them. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(6):1016–1017. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260120160022
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