Although no longer recent, two little books, slim enough to be slipped into a pocket, deserve to be read—or reread, as the case may be—by all physicians. Both are diaries, both are written by physicians, and both concern Hiroshima in 1945. Both are timeless.
The first, Hiroshima Diary,1 covers two months in the life of Michihiko Hachiya, MD, from Aug 6, 1945, to Sept 30, 1945. The second, Encounter With Disaster,2 picks up a little before the first ends and covers just under three months in the life of Averill Liebow, MD, from Sept 18, 1945, to Dec 10, 1945. At the time the accounts were written, Dr Hachiya was a civilian physician in charge of the Hiroshima Communications Hospital, a 125-bed hospital with a large outpatient population, which served workers in the postal, telegraph, and telephone services. Dr Liebow was a lieutenant colonel in the US Army
Southgate MT. The Shadow of Hiroshima: Two Diaries. JAMA. 1984;252(5):667–668. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350050055028
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