I am an ordinary anesthesiologist without academic bells or whistles. I graduated from the Ohio State University, attended New York Medical College, and completed my internship and residency at UCLA. 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 beyond question, but my contribution came uncharacteristically late in life and resulted from fortuitous circumstances. Most significantly, New York Medical College retained Dr. Johannes Rhodin, a famous pioneer of electron microscopy and an expert in stress theory, to revise its basic sciences curriculum at the time I attended basic sciences classes at the school. His stress theory lectures framed my evolving medical beliefs. My career proceeded at a time when fresh research challenged conventional beliefs and practices, which encouraged my skepticism of prevailing theory. The arrival of personal computing and the Internet enabled me to efficiently review of thousands of published medical research reports that enabled the identification of Selye's mechanism.
Dr. Rhodin deserves most of the credit. 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. Had he 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.