AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

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AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. January 2001, Volume 3, Number 1.


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Through the Student's (or Physician's) Eyes: "Five Miles From Tomorrow"

The authenticity of a physician-in-training's account of traveling to a remote Arctic island and encountering a dying elderly tribal leader is subsequently challenged by the author's clinical prefect.

"More people have attempted to climb Mount Everest than have visited here longer than 72 hours-- allowing a unique hybrid of Siberian and Inuit tradition to flourish under the radar of the Western world. The resulting population is genetically and culturally distinct from any other in the world."

Shah S. Five miles from tomorrow. JAMA. [A Piece of My Mind] 2000;284:1897-1898.

When Virtual Mentor linked to this essay in January 2001, we believed it to be a factual account. However, the essay's authenticity has since been challenged by the author's clinical prefect, Dr. Michael D. Swenson. For more information about the disputed case, see Dr. Swenson's August 2001 letter to JAMA:

Swenson, Michael D.; Shah, Shetal I. A Story About Suicide in the Arctic [Letters]. JAMA. Aug 2001;286:919.

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