He was a striking man, slender, with fine features, approximately 60 years of age, with a tan complexion and a gray, closely cropped beard. He sat upright in the hospital bed, with his legs crossed, and possessed an aura of surprising serenity.
"Who is that man?" I questioned the senior resident.
"Oh, him, he's a diabetic with a rotten toe. He is going to sign out AMA. Says he's a doctor from somewhere in the Middle East. Refuses surgery or antibiotics. I told him he is going to get septic and die if he's not treated."
I approached his bed and introduced myself as the attending physician for the ward. He smiled and in fluent English told me his name.
"Are you a physician?" I inquired.
"Yes, I am."
"Then why do you not want to be treated?"
"Ah, but I do want to have treatment."
"Then why do you
Boisaubin EV. A Barefoot Physician. JAMA. 1983;249(1):80. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330250060033
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