The Universal Languages

Erlinda D. Austria, MD
JAMA. 1982;248(2):233. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330020069034.
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In 1976,I traveled with the 40 dancers and musicians of the Philippine Bayanihan Dance Company on a ten-month cultural mission to Europe and the United States. I had graduated from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines the year before and completed my internship at the Veterans Memorial Hospital there, and I felt confident I could handle whatever medical problems the group would encounter. However, I had not expected my medical practice to go much beyond handing out medications for fever, cough, and colds and treating feet for splinters and cuts. I certainly had not expected to confront the first major medical problem of my medical career in East Berlin.

While performing at the Palace de la Republik, a dancer fell and hit his knee. Minutes later, he had difficulty extending his leg. After an examination and x-ray films, the diagnosis of a torn meniscus was made. Surgery was


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