Ortuño Sánchez, F., Oscoz Irurozqui,M., Geniuses of medical science: friendly, open and responsible, not mad. Medical hypotheses. 2016 Dec;97:71-73.
Recent studies based on biography analysis provide support for the notion that the prevalence of mental illness in the creative geniuses of art, literature and science is higher than it is in more ordinary folk. However, this relationship between madness and genius, which was also addressed by the classical philosophers, has been generalized to all branches of professional endeavour. Whilst it may hold true for illustrious personalities of the fine arts, we found that the relationship proves inappropriate to the biographies of ten individuals renowned in history for their innovative contributions to medical science. Furthermore, examination of these ten biographies invites the hypothesis that certain personality traits – especially, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to new experience – can act to enhance creativity and protect against mental illness.