The Patient Was Vietcong

An American Doctor in the Vietnamese Health Service, 1966–1967


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SKU: 9780786478996 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

In 1965, drafted into the Army to serve in Vietnam, Lawrence Climo, a young physician just out of training, learned of a unique humanitarian mission with counter-insurgency objectives that was looking for doctors: MILPHAP (Military Provincial Hospital Augmentation Program). Because it seemed to be an honorable as well as a doable enterprise he volunteered and began keeping a journal. At the start he appreciated the varied interactions with people of different religious, social, racial and ethnic cultures, especially among both Americans and Vietnamese as well as between the two. Whatever culture shocks emerged proved, if not intriguing or entertaining, at least informative. But then he encountered a culture shock that proved toxic and threatened to corrupt both MILPHAP and himself.

About the Author(s)

Retired psychiatrist Lawrence H. Climo, M.D., was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his military service. He lives in Andover, Massachusetts.

Bibliographic Details

Lawrence H. Climo, M.D.
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 46 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7899-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1415-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 00

Introduction 1

 1. Backgrounds: Theirs, Ours and Mine 7

 2. Citizen-Soldiering 24

 3. I Volunteer for a Special Program 31

 4. In-Country: Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) 37

 5. The Central Highlands: Initiation 46

 6. Ban Me Thuot: An Unorthodox Practice 60

 7. Disconnects and Flash-Points 87

 8. Mobile Trips Into the Countryside 115

 9. Lamentations and Harmonies 145

10. Fault Lines: Honor, Trust and Caring 169

11. Fault Lines: Health, Truth and Integrity 186

12. This Story’s Coda 203

13. Returning Home and Moving On, Then Going Back 207

Postscript 217

Appendix I 219

Appendix II 221

Appendix II 223

Appendix IV 224

Chapter Notes 226

Bibliography 229

Index 231

Book Reviews & Awards

“about a healer whose remarkable and uncommon and humbling experiences in a strange land with widely different cultures leads to a self discovery that is both enlightening and satisfying. If you want to read an intelligently and passionately written book about a unique Vietnam wartime experience, this is that book. In it, you’ll discover adventure, uncertainty, loss, humor, joy and above all else, discovery of human kindness and sacrifice”—