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Class agent syndrome

Yale Medicine Magazine, 1998 - Summer


To the Editor:
A syndrome described in the December 1997 Atlantic Monthly attracted my gaze. Now I know what causes my swollen legs: economy class syndrome, interestingly first described by Professor Jennett of Glasgow University! As an American of Scottish descent, I now understand the connection between my ethnic heritage, the legendary gift for thrift and my puffy ankles after a bargain flight.

Another, which I call class agent syndrome, much more pleasant, is often seen in Yale medical alumni class agents after many years on the job. This condition may be experienced all year, depending on correspondence with classmates, but predominates each fall and peaks sharply every five years. Manifestations: frequent memories and thoughts (even dreams) of classmates, living and dead. Enjoyable. Seriously desire to know if other class agents have noted same.

Richard W. Breck, M.D. '45
Wallingford, Conn.