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Miguel da Silva Pereira was born in José do Barreiro, in rural São Paulo, on July 2, 1871. He earned his medical degree in Rio de Janeiro in 1897 with a thesis on tropical hematology. In 1894, while still a student, he volunteered to help fight the cholera epidemic in the Paraíba Valley. He was a member of the National Academy of Medicine and its president for the 1910-1911 term. He worked from 1904 to 1907 as a physician at Brazil’s national hospital for the insane (Hospital Nacional de Alienados) and held the chair in clinical propaedeutics, internal pathology, and internal medicine at the Rio de Janeiro School of Medicine. In 1916, he famously declared that “Brazil is one vast hospital,” words that left an enduring imprint and inspired the First Republic’s public health movement. In addition to studies on diseases like syphilis and hookworm, he wrote a treatise on internal medicine but burned the originals after discovering he himself had an incurable disease. He died in the spa town of Estiva, now called Miguel Pereira, in the state of Rio, on December 23, 1918.