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Mental Attitude and Disease

Mental Attitude and Disease

Dr. William Osler, MD is considered the father of modern medicine. When Johns Hopkins Medical Center was opened in the 1880s, he started the first residency program. Prior to that, physicians’ training ended with the four years of medical school. Dr. Osler taught his medical students and residents that the personality and attitudes of the patients were more important than the diagnosis. Osler: “Ask not what disease the patient has, but rather, what patient the disease has.” The ancient Greek physicians knew of the importance of the mind-body connection, and it was Osler, who brought this concept into modern medicine. Unfortunately, appreciation of the power of the mind to heal the body was lost in the 20th century as physicians focused on medical and surgical treatments. In the late 20th century, a new appreciation appeared as the science of psychoneuroimmunology came into being. Today, the fields of mind-body medicine and behavioral medicine focus on the mind.

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Mental Attitude and Disease

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Berkelhammer is a retired mind-body medicine psychologist. He writes about mindfulness-based practices with a unique emphasis on optimization of wellbeing and health. Dr. Berkelhammer also lectures at San Francisco State University and UC San Francisco, and is currently teaching a class in Marin County through College of Marin. He is the author of the book "In Your Own Hands; New Hope for People with Chronic Medical Conditions".

See his extensive website:

In Your Own Hands: Mindfulness-Based Practices to Optimize Wellbeing - College of Marin Community Education

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APA Reference
Berkelhammer, D. (2016). Mental Attitude and Disease. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 4, 2020, from


Last updated: 21 Mar 2016
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