LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
In Memoriam—Philip Musgrove
Americas Quarterly was saddened to hear about the
unexpected passing of Philip Musgrove, a health economist,
deputy editor of Health Affairs and contributor to AQ. Phil
died on March 21, 2011 in a boating accident at Iguazu Falls.
Phil’s area of expertise was international health systems—a
topic he covered in his article “The Five Cs of Universal
Health Care,” which appeared in AQ’s Summer 2010 issue.
Though we knew him principally through his work, his
writing conveyed a deep commitment to the topic and a wry
wit. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family.
The Original Dispatches
AQ has been a great resource to my work as Americas editor of The Christian Science Monitor. Your weekly newswrap helps keep me abreast of
regional issues, and I’ve shared your analytical articles with our correspondents to inform their coverage. Coincidentally, AQ’s newswrap has
shouted out a number of recent stories in the Monitor, as well, which I
value as a badge of recognition.
— Stephen Kurczy, The Christian Science Monitor
NOTE: Stephen Kurczy co-authored the first “Dispatches from the Field” piece, which
appeared in the Winter 2008 issue of Americas Quarterly. “Dispatches from the Field:
Oaxaca” reported on conditions in southern Mexico one year after a six-month protest
in 2006. Following Kurczy’s article, “Dispatches from the Field” has become a regular
department in AQ. Since contributing to AQ, Kurczy became international editor for
The Christian Science Monitor in Boston, MA.
Like Mr. Musgrove, I have
said for years that “Cuba
exports doctors” (America’s
Quarterly, Summer 2010).
On a recent trip to Brazil,
I had the opportunity
to work with a Brazilian
physician who, amongst
other duties, is responsible
for certifying foreign
doctors working long
term in Brazil. If a doctor
travels to Brazil and sets
up a practice, he or she is
expected to register with
the government and pass
a test documenting a
basic level of proficiency.
My colleague stated that,
“This is not a very hard
test, something a medical
student should be able
to pass.” She went on to
note that many Cuban
“doctors” are unable to pass
the test. So many fail that
many or even most simply
sneak into the country and
disappear into rural areas
or inner cities. I found this
rather alarming. It raises
the question: What do we
know about the quality
of the “doctors” that Cuba
sends abroad? Have we
ever looked behind the
— John Kludt, MD,
Fellow of the American
Academy of Family
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