Views & Reviews Medical Classics

12, 20 & 5: A Doctor's Year in Vietnam

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39401.678090.59 (Published 22 November 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:1099
  1. Andrew McDonald Johnston, specialist registrar in respiratory and intensive care medicine, British Army
  1. amcdj{at}doctors.org.uk

    Published four years after Richard Hooker's M*A*S*H (BMJ 2007;334:47, doi: 10.1136/bmj.39072.633241.59) and six years before Samuel Shem's The House of God (BMJ 2007;334:99, doi: 10.1136/bmj.39084.673889.59), this book shares some of their themes of comradeship and redemption among doctors under almost intolerable pressure.

    While working as an internal medicine trainee John Parrish was given the choice of conscription into the infantry or volunteering as a doctor in the navy. His book gives a factual and blunt description of a year's service as a US navy physician in Vietnam, working with the US Marine Corps in field hospitals, under fire, and close to the front line. His sense …

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