A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne
K. Young, Associate Editor.
The man sitting on the examining table is a bona fide celebrity—at
97 he is by far the oldest person in this remote polar village, and the whole
town has an interest in his health. He is also the last patient of the day,
a day that has introduced my medical student mind to 40 new patients in a
single afternoon. Optimistically, I hope the "chief complaint" is an easy
The village—an Arctic afterthought of a human settlement—makes
Timbuktu feel metropolitan. Lodged on the tip of an island in the Bering Sea,
this 450-person outpost rests on a flat plain of gravel stones and is buried
in snow nine months of the year. The closest movie theater is a Slovak cineplex
in Eastern Siberia, and proximity to the international date line places the
town literally five miles from tomorrow.
Shah S. Five Miles From Tomorrow. JAMA. 2000;284(15):1897-1898. doi:10.1001/jama.284.15.1897