Medicine: Fiji Medicine Men

In some ways, it is the strangest medical school in the world. Many of the students are only one generation removed from cannibalism. They are Fijians, Maoris (from New Zealand), Samoans, natives of the Solomon, Cook, New Hebrides, Tonga, Gilbert and Ellice Islands, and a few East Indians.

Only requirement for the Central Medical School, at Suva in the Fiji Islands, is the equivalent of a good U.S. high-school education. Students are given four years of anatomy and surgery. One thing students find hard to unlearn: their fear of native witch doctors.

N.M.P. Y. M.D. The Suva degree is N.M.P.—Native Medical Practitioner. With...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!