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On Being a Doctor |

Peak of the Season

Muhammed Ali Pate, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

Howard University Hospital Washington, DC 20060 Requests for Reprints: Muhammed Ali Pate, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Howard University Hospital, 2041 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20060.


Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1996;124(1_Part_1):69. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-124-1_Part_1-199601010-00013
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It is a hot mid-September morning. The malaria season is at its peak. My office, which serves as the admissions and emergency room, is very hot and humid. A mother rushes in with her comatose six-year-old child. She is crying. Looks sick and pregnant herself. She talks. I do not understand. I am the doctor. Her last hope for the child. She looks tired and covered with dust. She must have traveled far. Probably from across the north bank of the river. Walked a bit. Rode on a mule cart part of the way. Waited a bit for the ferry or the canoe. Then took the bus ride to our hospital. Possibly.

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