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July 21, 2010

Academic Institutions as Agents for International Outreach

JAMA. 2010;304(3):271-272. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.987

To the Editor: In his Commentary, Dr Lemery1 argued that the US government should engage academic medical institutions to serve as agents for international medical outreach in the developing world. This argument hinges on 2 key points: (1) university-based global health programs have proliferated in recent years; and (2) medical personnel are an effective and appropriate means of spreading US goodwill. Although academic medical institutions serve an important role in the delivery of humanitarian aid abroad, the Commentary does not fully take into account the capacity of current academic programs or the serious moral consequences of government co-optation of these efforts for diplomacy purposes.

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