Physician, Heal Thyself


After Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, Dr. Mark Perlmutter traveled from Pennsylvania to help treat the sick and injured. That's how he found himself on the tarmac of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport administering chest compression to a dying woman. And that's where he found himself ordered by an official with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to stop treating patients because he wasn't registered with the agency. FEMA says it doesn't accept volunteer physicians and uses only doctors who have FEMA credentials. Perlmutter says he was the only doctor at the airport and asked to keep treating patients until a FEMA-certified doctor arrived, but his request was rejected.