Mountains by Tracy Kidder In the book “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr.Farmer ”(2003), author Tracy Kidder tells a story about Dr. Paul Farmer whom he met in 1994. The book gives us an overview of Dr. Farmer’s life and his works when it came to social justice and global welfare. Kidder describes his relationship with Farmer and his primary works throughout this book. “And I was drawn to the man himself. He worked extraordinary hours. In fact, I don’t think he sleeps more than an hour or two most nights. Here was a person who seemed to be practicing more than he preached, who seemed to be living, as nearly as any human being can, without hypocrisy.”(2) Dr. Paul Farmer is an American doctor and health activist. He is an influential character in this book because he spends most of his life establishing quality health care in impoverished countries, such as Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia that lack medical resources. Dr. Farmer is a highly respected man in the community, he is driven and strives to help individuals around him. He studied anthropology and medicine at Duke University and later continued his studies and graduated from Harvard Medical School earning his Ph.DHe later founded a nonprofit organization called Partners in Health located in Boston, Massachusetts that primarily focuses on adequate health care in areas that have high rates of infant mortality, malnutrition, tuberculosis treatment, HIV, and much more . It was Dr. Hiatt’s first sight of the place. When he got back to Boston, he wrote, in an editorial for The New York Times: “I have just returned from a health center in a country at the bottom of the economic heap. … HIV infections are controlled as effectively in an area of Haiti as in Boston.. More than that, medical care there is delivered with skill and caring comparable to that seen in a Boston teaching hospital.” Zanmi Lasante had moved him more deeply than anything he’d ever seen before, Hiatt told me. He said that what Paul had done in Cange had to be “replicated.” And he said he intended to spend whatever time he had left on earth doing all he could to see that it was. (163) A diagnosis that would take a few hours in Boston can take weeks in Cange, Haiti which was pretty wild to me when it came to waiting for a diagnosis to be placed, especially when a patient is already in critical condition. As mentioned in this book John a Haitian patient, had to be transported to Boston from Cargne in 2000, due to his treatment for facial cancer carcinoma. John’s overall treatment and the flight was cost-effective when it came to using MDR-TB drugs that were overpriced. The hospital bill came to be about $100,000 (167) until Mass General Hospital agreed to take the case. With the help of Farmer’s assistance, Serena Koenig, she arranged a surgery for John to be conducted in Boston instead of Haiti and waived the fee at Mass General. A medical intern at Mass General criticizes Serena because John is so malnourished. Dr. Alan Ezekowitz, the head of pediatrics, subtly chastises this intern by saying, “This boy is a challenge. But I’ve cured sicker kids,” and adding, “We can always do better, can’t we?” (25) this ignited questions on Dr. Farmers and Serena’s practices as medical doctors making a difficult decision when it comes to John’s patient care. John’s whole treatment becomes symbolic because even with this whole process, he dies but they did the best they can when it came to treating this child flying him from Haiti to Boston to have access to better facilities that cost thousands of dollars.In the last chapter of the book, Kidder tells us the success of Zani Lasante and how Dr. Farmers have saved many lives in Haiti, and how many Farmers patients usually come back to the hospital for work or work in the outskirts of the community around Cange. Kidder mentions another patient boy, named Alcante from Zanmi Lasante with a case of scrofula, an infectious disease. Farmer treated him and he made a full recovery. Farmer even walked all the way from Zanmi Lasante to the family’s home to check in which showed his devotion to helping his patients, and to show respect towards their family. Overall, Zanmi Lasante in Haiti grew to a staff that included more than 200 community health workers, a dozen nurses, and 12 doctors, with a Cuban surgeon and Cuban pediatrician. Caring for more than three thousand HIV patients and providing antiretrovirals to about 350 patients in Cange. Farmers philosophy and his work amazes me while reading this book, you see him in medical school training and then the other half of the year you see him in Haiti doing his field work along his colleagues. It left me feeling uncomfortable in certain aspects of the story but also made me feel uplifted and enlightened how one person can help cure the world and inspire people around him to do the same, making him iconic to our society. This book “Mountains Beyond Mountains overall is inspiring and makes you want to help others and be involved as much as you can. It is a fascinating read that you keep wanting to read until the ending, from Farmer’s astonishing works throughout his career and the challenges he faces with it comes to ethical practices and his patients. After reading this whole book it inspires me to make a difference and help others, especially in impoverished third world countries when it comes to access to quality healthcare and modern medicine to those in need of it most. Works Cited“Mountains Beyond Mountains Summary & Analysis.” LitCharts, www.litcharts.com/lit/mountains-beyond-mountains/chapter-26.“The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer.” NPR, NPR, 20 Oct. 2003, www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1472188.mbmsummary.blogspot.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2020..
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