Bob Hoffman's Reviews > Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
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Jul 04, 2012

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“If access to health care is considered a human right, who is considered human enough to have that right?”—Paul Farmer

Kidder gives us a glimpse into the life and work of physician and medical anthropologist, Paul Farmer, who dedicates his life to providing medical care to those who have the least access to that care, especially in Haiti, a country that he first visited as a medical student in 1983.

The founder of Partners in Health, (PIH) an international charity that provides direct health care services and provides research and advocacy for those often neglected by the developed world, he has a special affinity for the poorest of the poor, and his efforts to bring medical care to the village of Cange, in Haiti’s central plateau, are a primary focus of this book.

He works passionately to treat patients afflicted by tuberculosis, particularly the multi-drug resistant form of TB that exacts a disproportionate toll on those who live in poverty. His work has become more political perhaps than he would like. He is a teacher, a researcher, a fundraiser, and an activist—but he seems the happiest when providing hands-on care to the sick.

One other particularly fitting quote that sums up the man is this one: “I think of myself more as a physician than an American. Ludmilla (a Russian physician associate) and I, we belong to the nation of those who care for the sick.”

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