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February 13, 1978

A Glimpse at Medicine Abroad

JAMA. 1978;239(7):644-645. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280340064027

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In these days of supersonic air transport and satellite communications, we often are reminded of John Donne's admonition, "No man is an island, entire of itself."

Newspapers headline that the international heroin syndicate has established new import routes into our country. Nightly news reports alert us to a contagion dubbed the "Russian flu." No doubt we all feel a sense of relief as the World Health Organization proclaims that variola major has been eradicated from the earth.

Yet if foreign lands have their dangers, they also have their delights. Certainly one of travel's pleasures is observing how the necessities of life are handled in new and diverse ways. Can one forget how delicious a simple snack of bread and cheese tasted along a French roadside? Or how graceful a sarong-clad figure looked in the South Pacific? The pleasures of a caseta on a warm afternoon in Lima? Food, clothing, shelter—all