JOHN F. BURNUM, M.D., F.A.C.P.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.
The term "the worried well" (1) has long troubled me. On the contrary, in my experience patients may worry themselves sick; and worry, fear, and dread all spell unfitness or sickness, not wellness. Angst and well-being simply cannot stand together. As Richard Scott adds, "there must be something the matter with someone who goes to see a doctor when there is nothing the matter with him." This self-contradictory term, originally coined for patients with minor disorders, who conceivably might be sifted out and treated by paramedical personnel, has taken on a demeaning note: that many are unworthy neurotic "crocks," and
BURNUM JF. The Worried Sick. Ann Intern Med. 1978;88:572. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-88-4-572_1
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(4):572.
Copyright © 2020 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use