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August 9, 2006

International Volunteer Medicine—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2006;296(6):652-653. doi:10.1001/jama.296.6.652-b

In Reply: In “Duffle Bag Medicine,” I presented one particular concern: people, even physicians, genuinely hoping to do good may still harm international communities. I described how even donated vitamins can have negative consequences; net good is not accomplished merely through international presence. I did not conclude that a particular type of irresponsible care represents standard behavior. Instead, I argued that one egregious example can help us all examine a broader issue in refining the practice of international medicine.