Throughout his medical career, Dr. Rahe has conducted stress and coping research and has taught these subjects at four different medical schools. He examines the balance in a person's life between their recent stress load and their current coping and wellness resources. When the balance tilts toward stress, the risk for developing near-future illnesses is increased. Balances tilting toward coping indicate ensuing good health and resilience.
As a medical student, Dr. Rahe co-authored the Social Readjustment Rating Scale with Dr. Thomas Holmes. This test remains popular today. You can take Dr. Rahe's updated version of this test on this site. Life change values for these events have increased substantially over the years. They average increase in values is 15% every passing decade since they were originally scaled in the 1960s.
Following post-graduate training in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry, Dr. Rahe spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy. During this time he worked with returned prisoners-of-war from Vietnam as well as with military and civilian personnel held hostage in Iran. He also traveled to the South Pole to interview scientists who spent a year there - nine months of which were in total darkness. Dr. Rahe has served as a consultant to the United Nations and the World Health Organization regarding war crimes victims in former Yugoslavia. Over the past 8 years he has worked, half-time, for the Veterans Affairs treating service men and women returning home from deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.