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December 16, 1974

Message From China

JAMA. 1974;230(11):1566-1568. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240110058024

In this issue of The Journal (p 1527), Tavassoli, a young hematologist from the University of Tehran, presently at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, stresses the curious failure of the governments of many "developing countries" to come to grips with the grim medical realities existing right within their own borders. He finds this deficiency to be especially prominent in the area of medical education. Efforts to emulate Western medicine have resulted, not unpredictably, in "specialty orientation," which, he notes, is totally inappropriate to the needs of the mother country. Further, the young physicians themselves, who are "overtrained," without incentive or facilities to utilize their newly acquired talents, and without the skills or disposition to tackle the enormous practical problems at home, become disillusioned and discontented, and eventually defect to whence they were trained—the West.

Yet, in many dark regions of the world, survival, not