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A Piece of My Mind
May 27, 2009

The Intervention of Saint George

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2009;301(20):2076-2077. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.676

My taxi from downtown Moscow to Domodedovo International Airport encounters surprisingly little traffic in the predawn darkness. I meet up with my traveling companions, and we make our way through the dense crowds to our gate. We are a small group of visiting physicians. Our destination is the city of Vladikavkaz, capital of the North Ossetia-Alani Sovereign Republic of the Russian Federation, where we will be lecturing.

The “here” of our destination is the Caucasus, a region of enormous strategic importance for all of recorded history. The high mountain valleys and navigable rivers form an essential passageway through the Caucasus mountain ranges along the Great Silk Road linking China and the Mediterranean for thousands of years. And so my own Silk Road odyssey begins.

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