On Monday, February 19, 2018, Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., a leading voice on global health equity, social justice and a humanitarian spent the day at Vanderbilt lecturing and meeting with faculty, staff and students. He recently received the 2018 Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences for “pioneering enduring, community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings in the U.S. and other countries.”
We were fortunate and delighted to begin the day meeting with Dr. Farmer in small groups. At the midday Flexner Deans’ Lecture Series, he addressed medical students and faculty. In his talk entitled, “Academic Medicine and the Future of Global Health Equity: Reflections from West Africa,” he demonstrated the necessity for “staff, stuff, space and systems” to effectively diagnose and treat disease.
Watch the noon lecture (VUNetID required)
The late afternoon talk entitled, “Paul Farmer and Haiti,” was moderated by Ted Fischer, Ph.D. Reflecting on his journey from Harvard to Haiti and beyond, Dr. Farmer shared his thoughts on equitable aspirations, poverty, sustainability, health and education equity and the role of the university.
The takeaway from spending time in conversation with Paul Farmer is one of inspiration and renewed commitment to the vision of health equity for those living in low-resource settings.