The American Institute of Stress: Established 1978

The American Institute of Stress is a non-profit organization established in 1978 at the request of Hans Selye to serve as a clearinghouse for information on all stress related subjects. Other founding members included Linus Pauling, Alvin Toffler, Bob Hope, Michael DeBakey, Herbert Benson, Ray Rosenman and other prominent physicians, health professionals and lay individuals interested in exploring the multitudinous and varied effects of stress on our health and quality of life.

These photographs were taken during the meeting at the Tarrytown Conference Center in Tarrytown, New York in 1978, at which The American Institute of Stress was formally established as a not for profit educational organization designed to serve as a clearing house for information on all stress related topics.

In addition, AIS was formed to function as an ombudsman in this rapidly expanding field where a plethora of extravagant claims for worthless devices, nutritional products and approaches threatened to drown out legitimate research efforts and advances.

The meeting was attended by numerous dignitaries and founding Members of the Board of Trustees. Joel Elkes, Distinguished Service Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, served as the first President of The American Institute of Stress. Dr. Paul Rosch succeeded Joel and has served AIS as President for over three decades.


Founder: Dr. Paul J. Rosch, M.D., M.A., F.A.C.P

drrosch_headshotDr. Paul J. Rosch is Chairman of the Board of The American Institute of Stress, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at New York Medical College, Honorary Vice President of the International Stress Management Association and Chair of its U.S. branch. He completed his internship and residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and subsequently at the Walter Reed Army Hospital and Institute of Research, where he was Director of the Endocrine Section in the Department of Metabolism. He had a Fellowship at the Institute of Experimental Medicine and Surgery at the University of Montreal with Dr. Hans Selye, who originated the term “stress” as it is currently used, and has co-authored works with Dr. Selye as well as Dr. Flanders Dunbar, who introduced the term “psychosomatic” into American medicine.

Dr. Rosch was elected President of The American Institute of Stress in 1978 and served in that capacity until 2013, when he became Chairman of the Board. He was also the 1998-99 President of The Pavlovian Society, an organization of distinguished international scientists devoted to integrating basic and clinical research and has been the recipient of many honors, including the Outstanding Physician’s Award of the New York State Medical Society, Man of the Year Award with a Congressional Citation, the Schering Award, and the International Distinguished Service Award of the American Rural Health Association. In 1985, he received an award from Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, President of the American Society for Contemporary Medicine and Surgery for “contributions to our understanding of stress, health, and disease”. The I.M. Sechenov Memorial Medal was bestowed on him in 1993 by The Russian Academy of Medical Sciences for similar reasons and for facilitating communication between stress researchers at his annual International Congress on Stress. He was also the recipient of the 2000 Innovation Award of The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine.

Dr. Rosch has served as President of the New York State Society of Internal Medicine, Chairman of the International Foundation for Biopsychosocial Development and Human Health, Expert Consultant on Stress to the United States Center for Disease Control, President, Westchester Diabetes Association, and President, Yonkers Academy of Medicine. He is a member of the Board of Governors of Northwood University, The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, Scientific Advisory Council of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Foundation, and has served as Consultant to the Mensana Clinic in Maryland, Biotonus Clinic in Switzerland, and other organizations involved in the delivery of health care. He has served as Clinical Professor of Medicine in Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is on the International Advisory Committee, School of Psychology and Social Science, Universidad de Flores in Buenos Aires. He is a Fellow and Life Member of the American College of Physicians, Diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners, Emeritus Member of The Endocrine Society, Emeritus Member of The Bioelectromagnetics Society, Fellow of the Council of Epidemiology of the American Heart Association, Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Fellow of the Council on Geriatric Cardiology, Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Sciences, and Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine. He was unanimously elected in 1999 as a Full Member of the prestigious Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, one of only six foreigners who have received this honor in the past twenty years. Dr. Rosch is Senior Consultant in Internal Medicine and Honorary Emeritus Physician at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, New York, and has a Workers Compensation Subspecialty Rating in Cardiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases.

Dr. Paul Rosch with Dr. Michael DeBakey

Dr. Paul Rosch with Dr. Michael DeBakey

Dr. Rosch was Editor-in-Chief of Stress Medicine, published by John Wiley & Sons in England, Associate Editor of The International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, and International Journal of Stress Management, and has served or serves on the Editorial Board of other publications including the Journal of Human Stress, International Journal of Psychosomatics, Cardiovascular Reviews and Reports, Comprehensive Therapy, Journal of Human Behavior, and Health Inform; Essential Information on Alternative Health Care. He has organized and presided over the annual International Congress on Stress since 1988, which has featured state of the art presentations on all aspects of stress, as well as cutting edge research in relevant areas of bioelectromagnetic and alternative or complementary medicine.

Dr. Rosch has authored the Wellsprings of Health section of Creative Living and is Editor-in-Chief of Health and Stress, the monthly Newsletter of the American Institute of Stress. He has written extensively over the past six decades on the role of stress in health and illness, with particular reference to cardiovascular disease and cancer, and problems associated with job stress. In recent years, much of his attention has focused on the psychophysiologic effects of subtle energies, and especially the clinical use of magnetic field therapies. He is co-author of The Doctors Guide To Instant Stress Relief, Magnet Therapy, DeStress, Weigh Less and Editor of Bioelectromagnetic Medicine. He was the editor and contributed to Bioelectromagnetic and Subtle Energy Medicine, a 50-chapter book published in 2015, as well as Fat and Cholesterol Don’t Cause Heart Attacks and Statins Are Not the Solution published in 2016.

He has appeared on numerous national and international television programs, including 60 Minutes, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nova, CBS, NBC, PBS, BBC and CBC network presentations. His editorials and comments have been published in major medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of The American Medical Association, British Medical Journal and The Lancet. He has been interviewed and widely quoted in Time, Fortune, Newsweek, The Reader’s Digest, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The London Times, and numerous other publications here and abroad. An International Institute of Stress Medicine is being established in his honor in Mexico (Instituto Internacional de Medicine del Tensión Dr. Paul J. Rosch).

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Hans Selye: Birth of Stress

Stress has become such an ingrained part of our vocabulary and daily existence, that it is difficult to believe that our current use of the term originated only a little more than 50 years ago, when it was essentially “coined” by Hans Selye. How this came to pass because of a serendipitous laboratory accident is interesting, but not nearly as fascinating as the story of its discoverer, Hans Selye, who would easily qualify for the Reader’s Digest “Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met” classification. Because of our long and close personal and professional relationship, I was privy to a considerable amount of information not available to others.

The Founding Board of Trustees of The American Institute of Stress:

Robert Ader, PhD, Rochester, NY – Herbert Benson, MD, Boston MA – Paul A Brown, MD, Upper Saddle River, NJ –  Dennis L. Colacino, PhD, Purchae, NY –  Cary L. Cooper, PhD, Manchester, U.K .-  Norman Cousins, Los Angels, CA –  Micheal E. DeBakey, MD, Houston, TX –  Theodore M. Dembroski, PhD, St. Petersburg, FL –  Edward C. Donovan, Mattapan, MA –  Joel Elkes, MD, Louisville, KY –  Carlton Fredericks, PhD New York, NY –  James Goddard, MD, Stamford, CT –  Senator Barry M. Goldwater, Washington D.C. –  Kenneth Greenspan, MD, New York, NY –  James Goddard, MD, Stamford, CT –  Senator S.I. Hayakawa (Ret.), Mill Valley, CA –  Nelson Hendler, MD, Baltimor, MD –  Thomas H. Holmes, MD, Seattle, WA –  Bob Hope, Palm Springs, CA –  John Laragh, MD, New York, NY –  James L. Lynch, PhD, Baltimore, MD –  James S.J. Manuso, PhD New York, NY –  Lorenz K.Y. Ng, MD, Washington D.C .-  Peter Nixon, FRCP, London, UK –  Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, Berkeley, CA –  Paul J. Rosch, MD, Yonkers, NY –  Ray H. Rosenman, MD, Menio Park, CA –  Henry Russek, MD, Boca Raton, FL –  Sidney Scherlis, MD, Twson, MD –  Marcy J.T. Smith, MS, RN, Barnstable, MA – Robert H. Spencer, New York, NY –  Marvin Stein, MD, New York, NY –  Charles F. Stroebel, PhD, MD, Hartford, CT –  Charles Swencionis, PhD, New York, NY –  Alvin Toffler, New York, NY