Summary Of The Opening Chapter Of Tracy Kidder's Mountain Beyond Mountains

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This book begins as an attempt to tell the story of Dr. Paul Farmer, a “big shot Boston doctor, professor of both medicine and medical anthropology at Harvard Medical School, and an attending specialist on the Brigham’s senior staff” (Kidder, 2009, p. 10). This is a man with multiple prestigious titles under his belt, yet continues to spend the majority of his time and energy in Haiti. Farmer strongly believes that healthcare shouldn’t be a privilege, it is a right that all human beings should have and this belief has brought him to places all around the world. His life’s work is to bring those rights into poverty stricken countries such as Haiti, and Rwanda. Although he is a doctor, his interest isn’t focused specifically on just medicine. …show more content…

Starting from the very first chapters of Tracy Kidder’s “Mountain Beyond Mountains,” you are able to get a sense of just how dedicated Paul Farmer is, and how strongly he feels about basic human rights. Throughout the book, you know that Farmer is dedicated to his work and is trying to combat poverty in anyway he can, but one of the first times it is really talked about is in Chapter eight. This particular section discussed the plan that Farmer had for Cange, a village in Haiti. He wanted to build a clinic in order to help with the treatment of HIV, along with the creation of a “first line of defenses” (Kidder, 2009, p. 90). First line of defenses were things such as vaccination programs, water sanitation, and the ability for Haitians to be medically trained that were put out into the community. The reason for all of this was due to the fact that standard healthcare wasn’t working for people in areas such as these. In order to support this, Farmer states, “the great burdens of disease in Cange were just a symptom of a general deprivation” (Kidder, p.91). This thought process is what leads into his belief of “health in the broadest possible

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