On August 19, 1960, Che Guevara gave a talk to the Cuban Militia “On Revolutionary Medicine”: “A few months ago, here in Havana, it happened that a group of newly graduated doctors did not want to go into the country’s rural areas and demanded remuneration before they would agree to go.”
Revolutionary Doctors gives readers a first-hand account of Venezuela’s innovative and inspiring program of community healthcare, designed to serve—and largely carried out by—the poor themselves. Drawing on long-term participant observations as well as in-depth research, Brouwer tells the story of Venezuela’s Integral Community Medicine program, in which doctor-teachers move into the countryside and poor urban areas to recruit and train doctors from among peasants and workers. Such programs were first developed in Cuba, and Cuban medical personnel play a key role in Venezuela today as advisors and organizers. This internationalist model has been a great success—Cuba is a world leader in medicine and medical training—and Brouwer shows how the Venezuelans are now, with the aid of their Cuban counterparts, following suit.