Climbing Mountains to Provide Healthcare
It is a privilege for me to share my life calling with Paul Farmer, a doctor who had been raised by a low socioeconomic class family, but who nevertheless made it to Duke University and Harvard University in search for a cure for all that are diseased (Kidder). As a nineteen year old student in pre-medicine, I, too, share Farmer’s desire to save lives. Reading Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr.
Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World, however, makes me want to desire more. As the title of the book suggests, I took would like to move mountains beyond mountains in my quest to save lives.
Indeed, Farmer is a messiah for the ailing folks around the world, especially the underprivileged people of countries such as Haiti and Peru. By fighting for social justice in such nations, Farmer would like to set an example. At the same time, however, the messiah realizes that his job would perhaps remain undone even though he has worked plentiful hours to eradicate poverty as far as availability of healthcare resources is concerned.
In fact, this is an essential theme of Kidder’s book. The author dismally refers to it as the “long defeat (Kidder).”
Kidder explains that people from around the world who are wealthier and better educated do experience better health than those with lower socioeconomic backgrounds who have both less wealth and less education. As examples, smoking, poor nutrition, as well as physical inactivity are more prevalent in groups that are low in socioeconomic status. Additionally, low socioeconomic groups have little or no access to preventive health care, for example, regular health checkups and screening programs. These medical services are easily accessed by people from higher socioeconomic backgrounds alone. What is more, financial barriers to health care are more likely to perpetuate the existing disparities in health among different socioeconomic groups. Farmer has worked strenuously to bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots by helping the latter access healthcare facilities in their times of need. Even so, there are plenty of problems that the doctor has confronted, one of which is the inflexibility of governments run by high income officials that desire to maintain the status quo (Kidder).
Farmer believes that there is a mountain beyond every mountain. In other words, as soon as a difficulty has been surpassed, another problem is likely to show up. He works with Partners in Health and deals with almost all levels of healthcare management. Still, he despairs. For him it is a “long defeat” because he has slaved for the task at hand, that is, his desire to help everybody meet his or her healthcare needs, regardless of cost – and he watches the entire system collapse into nothingness, even in the United States, where healthcare needs are clearly not being met (Kidder). Nevertheless, Farmer joins hands with the likes of George Soros and the Gates Foundation to help change the world (Kidder).
Although Farmer works with some of the best organizations to help reverse the fact of unavailability of healthcare services to the poor and needy, as mentioned previously, he is not too hopeful about the future. This makes the reader wonder whether his own low socioeconomic background continues to be a hurdle through his subconscious mind. Perhaps his entire family did not become as successful as he – a genius by all descriptions. As a matter of fact, even the reader is inspired to help him change the world, even if Farmer feels like giving up soon enough.
People from low socioeconomic backgrounds are unable to afford pricey heath services that may save their lives; and neither can they afford expensive health insurance that would cover the kinds of healthcare services that rich people are using at present to fight the diseases they confront. As compared to the rich people’s relatively successful struggles against diseases, the low socioeconomic groups have to bear a heavier burden of ailments. Correspondingly, people from low socioeconomic backgrounds have a greater need for adequate healthcare services (Kidder).
Still, Farmer need not despair. His vision to help all sick people recover wellness is mine as well. However, I believe that a single nation is enough to be used as a starting point. If my work in a single nation is successful, perhaps it could be applied as a model in other nations facing similar healthcare issues.
The United States is facing a serious healthcare crisis that many governmental heads together are unable to resolve. The problem lies in the fact that there is no single leader, or a messiah, to resolve the problem once and for all. There are too many people with their own personal agendas, or negative politics as it is called in management books. If I were to become a doctor that not only cures the ill at a designated hospital, but also struggles with non-governmental groups and the legislators to resolve the issues – I, too, would face the kinds of problems that Farmer has faced. As a young person, however, I do not despair. As books and scientific studies abound on this subject, the young doctors of tomorrow are expected to carry on the work of Farmer. For this reason, I am hopeful that the doctors of tomorrow would complete the work that Farmer has successfully begun. By becoming a highly successful doctor around the world, he has already proved that poverty can be defeated by the true calling of one’s life.
Raised by a family of philanthropists, I had always desired to help people. By choosing medicine, I have fulfilled that desire, although there is much more to learn. Kidder’s book has been very helpful for me because I do not see his work as a “long defeat (Kidder).” Rather, his work is ‘success in coming.’ Farmer rekindles my hope to see everybody on earth in good health. What is more, his theory about the “long defeat” teaches me to take up a secondary career as well (Kidder). Perhaps many doctors would like to join the shady world of politics after reading Framer’s book. If this would help to change the “long defeat” into ‘success at last,’ I would be delighted to study politics whilst practicing medicine in future (Kidder). After all, geniuses are meant to inspire everyone. Framer is no exception. In fact, as an individual sharing the life calling of Framer, I believe it would be a delight to work with him.
Healthcare provision remains as one of the most honorable professions on the planet. Perhaps it is these words alone, “long defeat,” that inspire me to also work against all odds to defeat the disparity as far as healthcare access is concerned (Kidder). What is more, I do not have to wait to become a doctor before I can work with Framer. I may already start using my free time and resources to help him get the job done. The job description is clear. As with all messiahs, only an increase in the number of laborers is required.
Kidder, T. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would
Cure the World. New York: Random House, 2004.
Cite this Climbing Mountains to Provide Healthcare
Climbing Mountains to Provide Healthcare. (2016, Sep 26). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/climbing-mountains-to-provide-healthcare/