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On Being a Doctor |

A Good Man

John McClenahan, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From Richmond, VA 23220.


Requests for Single Reprints: John McClenahan, MD, 413 Stuart Circle, Apartment B2, Richmond, VA 23220.


Ann Intern Med. 2005;142(11):944-945. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-142-11-200506070-00016
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At Ain Z'halta, a village in the Lebanese boondocks, a mosquito bit me on the wrist. I slapped it, brushed away a smear of blood, and returned to my guidebook. That evening, the bite itched. I scratched it and awoke the next morning with a welt the size of an almond at the base of my right thumb, a tender elbow, and disquieting red streaks running up to my armpit. President Coolidge's son had died a year or 2 previously from an infected blister despite the most advanced medical treatment of the time: hot soaks of Epsom salt, antiphlogistine, and prayer. The world had not heard of sulfonamides or antibiotics.

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