[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 22, 1988

When Medical Help Really Is Far Away...

JAMA. 1988;259(16):2343-2344. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720160003003

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


TRAVERSING THE BACK ROADS to some small village in the Appalachians or a remote outpost in the Yukon, the rural physician even today often carries the essential elements of clinical practice in a black leather bag worn by years of faithful service. From the seemingly limitless pharmacopeia at the fingertips of physicians on hospital staffs, the awesome array of diagnostic tools filling the corners of private offices and public health clinics, the far-traveling healer's equipment is reduced to essentials: a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff, a splint and tourniquet, and a few drugs. The goal: treat the minor ills, stabilize the major ones until the patient can reach a medical facility.

Imagine then that the remote practitioner's better-equipped colleagues are a million miles away, and therapy is limited strictly by the supplies foresight prompted this physician to bring along. That's what James Logan, MD, is doing today at the National