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June 6, 1980

The Second Holocaust

JAMA. 1980;243(21):2161. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300470023016

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I had the privilege of spending December and January in Khae-I-Dang, a camp for Cambodian refugees just inside Thailand that housed 115,000 and had a field hospital of 2,000. For me, as an individual and as a physician, this was the most rewarding experience of my life. It was probably the closest I will ever come to the kind of fulfillment that rural general practitioners received years ago. However, it was also the most frustrating of experiences because of the difficult conditions and the emotional pain we felt over the inadequacies of supplies, administration, and medical care. It was like the first line in Tale of Two Cities: "the best of times and the worst of times."

As food and medical supplies began to reach the camps and the border, we were able to make major inroads in fighting malnutrition and a host of common and uncommon diseases. The lack