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September 18, 1987

International Exchange of Physicians

JAMA. 1987;258(11):1478-1479. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400110060021

To the Editor.—  Improving the health of both nations is surely an ultimate goal for any international health exchange program. The great potential of a properly focused International Health Service Corps (IHSC) lies in its benefit to health in both the United States and Third World countries.1 The distinct danger is that the proposed International Medical Scholars Program (IMSP) will improve health in neither nation.2Despite the negative tenor pervading the analysis by Baker and Quinley,1 they support an IHSC composed of 50 to 100 American, midcareer, community health professionals. Working in the Third World by training—and learning from—their local counterparts, these professionals would strengthen and lend international credibility to cost-effective clinical and community health interventions. Back in the United States, their experience would be applied in exactly those underserved areas recognized by Martini.3While an IMSP might well generate goodwill between physicians in the United