Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I am about half way through a book about Paul Farmer by Tracy Kidder. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World . He is a fascinating subject and a consummate do-gooder.

Dr. Paul Farmer Challenges Profit-Driven Medical System While Bringing Healthcare to Poor Communities Worldwide
Paul Farmer is not your ordinary doctor. In going to the poorest places on earth, he is not only treating patients, but challenging whole healthcare systems. More than twenty year ago, Dr. Farmer co-founded the charity Partners in Health to provide free medical care in central Haiti. Today, Partners In Health provides healthcare for people with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other conditions in Haiti and eight other countries around the world. We spend the hour with Dr. Farmer on his work, his remarkable background and the challenges of pursuing healthcare with a social justice perspective.

Where in the world do people like Paul Farmer come from? Is he wired differently so that he doesn't need to sleep. How does he manage to get so much done? How does he sustain his passion for trying to heal some of the world's most neglected? I do not understand that passion and focus.

What kind of price must the people who are close to him pay? Ophelia Dahl refused to marry him because she did not want to come second in his life. He has a daughter. How will she perceive men with a father whose passion for his work inevitably comes first?

But he is a very admirable advocate of social justice and as the following video shows does not expect everyone to devote their lives like he has, just some part of their lives.

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