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For 104 years the American University of Beirut (AUB) has maintained a continuously active medical school. Among the problems now faced by this institution and its graduates are: insufficient numbers of doctors in the countries of the Near East; emigration of physicians in training because of inescapable demands for specialty certification not available at home; weak support of specialty care in the region to encourage their return; a dearth of local medical leadership sensitive to the academic and professional vigor arising from medical research; and poverty of educational attitudes well suited for critical scientific thinking. Highly developed minority interests tend to obstruct detached insight into these problems. University medicine of the entire Near East shares these difficulties, and a review seems wise because there is still an important role for American identity and support of health education in the Near East. Potential for medical specialty care is emerging and the medical schools and health care officials of the region have an opportunity to encourage it.
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Accepted: April 4, 1972
© 1972 Published by Elsevier Inc.