Medicine: Scourge of the North

To many Americans, Alaska is a remote, glacial wasteland remembered vaguely as: 1) a sprawling territory, twice the size of Texas, which the U.S. acquired from Russia in a forgotten real-estate deal; 2) the site of North America's highest peak, Mt. McKinley (20,464 feet); 3) home ground of Robert Service's The Shooting of Dan McGrew and Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush.

Last week an Alaskan with more current information about the territory was in Washington, D.C. Dr. Conrad Earl Albrecht, Alaska's first full-time commissioner of health, had travelled 5,000 miles from Juneau to...

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