Adapted from the Editor's comments:
The Little Hospital That Could, by Terrence Jay O'Neil, is a fascinating account of an unusual medical command that the author assumed at a military hospital in Panama.
The Panama Canal was being gradually turned over by the United States to the government of Panama. The author was assigned to a healthcare organization made up of both Americans and Panamanians that had provided service to military and civilian personnel associated with the Canal for many years.
The organization he was to manage was slated to grow three times its initial size, and then to downsize and eventually close, all in the space of two years. During the expansion, and the downsizing, the best-quality, responsive medical care, and air-ambulance service, was to be provided without any break in continuity.
This author recounts how they in fact delivered this care to thousands of patients, with the cooperation of hundreds of military and civilian medical personnel who were equally dedicated to their task. It is in inspiring recounting of how well human beings can perform to help others under very difficult circumstances.
Panama is also described in detail, particular the region around the Canal. The people; the jungle, which is right at the door of the various facilities; the amazing, and often quite disarming, creatures that live in the jungle and sometimes visit the yards of people's homes; the Canal itself, constantly trying to refill itself; the murderous traffic in Panama City; the beauty of the land, sea, and sky—all is described.