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March 28, 1964

Peace Corps Doctor

Author Affiliations

PO Box 190 Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

JAMA. 1964;187(13):1034-1035. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060260062026

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To the Editor:—  In truth, my mind constantly questions: Why did I ever leave the secure ivied walls of a university hospital to come to Dire Dawa, where a positive diagnosis can be confirmed only one twentieth of the time in the lab, where one's confreres speak a different tongue, where the x-ray technician cannot tell an anteroposterior chest from a right anterior oblique abdomen, where superstition dictates one third of the treatments,.... Except that I also wonder why I did not come two years earlier. I ask why all clinical training in medical school does not include a trip to a place where the pathology resembles the classical description, where infectious disease of every sort presents daily, where you must know your pharmacology because half the medicines you want as first choice do not exist, where your x-ray consultant is yourself, where a gram stain is your only bacteriological

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