I believe that this new knowledge will also turn medicine in the direction of greater humility, for we should see that whatever we achieve pales before the self-healing power latent in all organisms.—Robert O. Becker
I am a board certified anesthesiologist currently practicing dental anesthesia. According to Thomas Kuhn, who wrote “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” amateurs contribute most major advances in scientific theory, as opposed to professors and experts. My amateur status is above reproach, and my contribution came via the fickle finger of fate. I attended New York Medical College when the school retained Dr. Johannes Rhodin, a famous researcher, to revise its basic sciences curriculum. His stress theory lectures framed my evolving medical viewpoint while my career proceeded during an era when fresh ideas challenged orthodoxy. Many years later, my accidental recognition of the chimeric character of coagulation factor VIII inspired an extensive review of published research via personal computing and the Internet, which were unheard of during the era of stress research. Six years of dedicated toil yielded mechanisms of coagulation, atherosclerosis, capillary hemostasis, and tissue repair. Finally I realized that these seemingly disparate mechanisms were elements of Selye's stress mechanism, which had been the subject of Dr. Rhodin's distant lectures.
Credit for the discovery belongs to Dr. Rhodin. I could never have discovered the mammalian stress mechanism without his stress theory lectures. During his long and productive career he delivered these lectures to more than 5,000 medical students.
Success comes after a lifetime of dedicated toil, soon followed by death; but science is seldom so kind. Had Dr. Rhodin lived a few years longer he would have realized his dream that one of his students would discover Selye's mechanism. He was surely one of the finest people who have walked the face of this earth. May his memory endure.