Cap Haitien and Pignon, we were training Haitian doctors in what was, for Haiti, a revolutionary approach to health care.
A historic and revolutionary program deserves a historically revolutionary setting. Cap Haitien, the principal site of our family medicine residency program (we also used Dr. Guy’s hospital in Pignon for training), was the colonial capital of Saint Dominique. In 1791, slaves in the surrounding countryside, taking advantage of the chaos created by the French revolution, rose up against their masters. Legend has it that a Voodoo dance was the sign the slaves chose to signal the start of the uprising. The revolution lasted 13 years before Napoleon withdrew his troops and recognized Haiti’s independence. The costly, failed expedition to recapture France’s wealthiest colony forced him to sell his Louisiana territories to the United States. Haiti be-