January, 2010. A wealthy architect in his early fifties lies in bed at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He has a rare kind of pancreatic cancer that has spread to his liver. Within days, maybe hours, he'll be dead. The senior physician by the patient's bedside asks him the name of his regular doctor.
The question vexes the patient, so he looks at his wife.
"You mean like a family doctor?" she asks.
"Yes," the physician says.
The wife explains there's no family doctor; all her husband's doctors are cancer specialists.
The physician recalling this scene, Brendan Reillyand the author of One Doctor: Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine
wonders how this is possible, that an intelligent man of considerable financial means, whose cancer has previously failed treatment at several of the world's most renowned hospitals, finds himself in this...
Beyond the Book
Somatizationthe conversion of a mental state (such as depression or anxiety) into physical symptomsis extraordinarily common, according to Dr. Brendan Reilly, who writes about it (among other health concerns) in his book One Doctor: Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine
This broad medical term encompasses many illnesses, including recognized "somatic symptom and related disorders" described in the fifth, and most recent, edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Somatization affects women and men of all ages and cultures. It's common for people suffering from somatization to complain, over a period of years, of multiple symptoms that have little or no physical...