Monday, February 12, 2007

Dr. Paul

As predicted, I was unable to get away from work to hear Dr. Paul Farmer speak last Friday, but my wife was. Below was her biggest takeaway from the event:

Many people correctly diagnose problems with our current systems of helping the needy. For example, they'll say "AIDS treatments are so expensive, there's no way we could ever provide treatment to everyone affected by AIDS in the developing world..." However, once the problem is diagnosed, Dr. Paul asks "Is that the beginning or the end of the conversation?" To many people, that's the end of the conversation. But to Dr. Paul, that's just the problem statement, which should be followed up with a conversation on how to fix the problem.

After attending the event, my wife gained a renewed interest in public health. Several months ago, I posted about free online courses from reputable institutions, including Johns Hopkins' School of Public Health. Neither my wife nor I has pursued this source of education, but we're considering "taking" a class together.

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