Medical and Teaching

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Romancing the Stone

Here are three reasons from Blythe, California to be thankful for where you live. A month ago I tapped my brake as a semi-truck with double-trailers of gravel from the local mine tailgated me at 55 mph. He waited five minutes to retaliate and ran me off the road in front of the in-session middle [...]

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Should I Let Him Die or Risk Life Imprisonment?

The National Road A1, vetted as a bicycle route for Westerners, threads 1000km of jungles, rice paddies and mountains from Hanoi to Saigon.  It's a race from start to finish connecting the metropolises at either end of Vietnam, with much of the traffic collective taxis, mini-vans and lumbering buses chasing awaiting passengers. Each has a [...]

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Red Memory

Red was like a son to me, a 120-lb. surgical pony during my large animal rotation through the Michigan State veterinary school. He stuck out like a small finger along the four stalls of other ponies assigned to our surgery class.   Every Monday, as the stockiest of our five-person team, I trotted to Red’s [...]

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Amazon Hope

Yesterday I hiked a jungle path along the Rio Amazon that broadened every thirty minutes at villages of 10-30 thatched huts and every couple hours at a stream where I sat on a bank to hail a passing canoe with a cheer. Occasionally a barefoot Indian came toting the ubiquitous 30'' machete and 20-kilo sack [...]

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The Kids of Sulawesi, Borneo & Sumatra

Why are the kids of the farflung Indonesia islands full of joy? They are cold water people, most never having touched warm, and know nothing better. They are rice eaters, and know nothing else. The family unit includes relatives, and often the acceptable concubine, crammed into stilted lean-tos in the jungle. They attend three weekly [...]

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Notes from Lake Toba, Sumatra

I finally stumbled across a constant that may explain a high female to male birth rate among certain remote peoples of the world. In and around Iquitos, Peru at the headwaters of the Amazon, it's said that the birth ratio is 3:1, but my observation of thousands of people on the paths & streets is [...]

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High Altitude Resistance Training

I recently was asked a good question: does high altitude resistance training actually work?: Certainly using oxygen filtering masks works to simulate high altitude training. You may get the same benefits with an oriental exhaust mask (that cuts air intake by about 30%, and I currently use) over the mouth. Moreover, you may put training [...]

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Travel Fatigue After 100+ Countries

Low energy need not accompany travel any more than going to a job. The over-complained symptoms of headache, nausea and compromised mental skills sour too many vacations and shouldn't undermine business efficiency. There is no airborne infectious agent, only a compromised health that could, and often does, allow a secondary condition such as a cold [...]

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Medical Geography

My trip to the ophthalmologist began ten days ago with a variety of transportations including three days on a triple-deck launch up the Rio Marion, a collective water taxi for a day, motorized canoe for another along the Rio Huallaga, a day hitchhike in a pickup truck to Tarapoto, and a final ten hours by [...]

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What $200 Will Buy at a Peru Hospital

Yesterday I stopped in at a Peru hospital for a routine exam. Of the three hospitals in Iquitos, I chose Ana Stahl Clinic that the ex-pats frequent rather than the two larger public hospitals where my $200 would have stretched about 30% farther. The Ana Stahl facility is modern and clean with the amenities of [...]

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