from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A lay health care worker, especially in rural China, trained in such activities as first aid, childbirth assistance, the dispensing of drugs, and preventive medicine.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A farmer or rural resident with basic medical training who worked as a doctor in rural areas of the People's Republic of China from the mid-1960s until the 1980s, generally under a government-sponsored program.
Derived from the practice of farmers in southern China who would often work barefoot in the rice paddies. (Wiktionary)