The Sick Man and the Physician – Aesop’s Fable

Aesop (circa 620 B.C. – circa 560 B.C.), a Greek writer of Thracian origin, is famous for his fables, moral teachings, and anecdotes.

We propose you one of them, particularly interesting on health: The Sick Man and the Doctor. This fable is short, which is also a strength of this writing. It illustrates the idea that mental health is more valuable than wealth and features a patient who chooses health over money offered by a doctor to cure his illness.


A sick man, asked about his condition by the doctor, replied that he had sweated more than he should.
“That is fine,” said the doctor.

Asked a second time about his health, he said that he had been shivering and shaken badly.
“That is fine too,” the doctor said.

A third time the doctor came to him, and asked him about his illness. He answered that he had had diarrhea.
“That is fine too,” said the doctor, and he withdrew.

One of his relatives came to see him and asked him how he was doing: “Me,” he replied, “I am dying from being well.”

It is often so: our neighbors, judging only by the outward appearance, consider us happy for things that inwardly cause us the greatest sorrow.

Aesop’s Fables, The Sick Man and the Physician

General Knowledge: health

2 thoughts on “The Sick Man and the Physician – Aesop’s Fable

  1. Don’t worry Lucie, I’m there at Sciences Po (in fifth year). The whole thing is above all not to be impressed by this kind of shabby comments (see Alex) intended to exert symbolic violence to make you believe that the competition is inaccessible. With that, good luck to you!

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