Physicians as Patient Advocates: A Tribute to Dr. Paul Farmer
This thesis evaluates the role and responsibility of physicians to serve as advocates for their patients and their communities by reviewing the messages of three notable figures who succeeded in created a cultural shift in their society: President Lyndon B. Johnson, Dr. Paul Farmer, and C.P. Snow. The thesis begins with a review of the events leading up to the signing and implementation of a national insurance program in the United States under the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Next, the thesis evaluates the mission of Dr. Paul Farmer, a physician anthropologist and a pioneer in global health, and the creation of Partners In Health, a non-governmental organization which aims to satisfy a “preferential option for the poor.” Finally, the thesis closes with an assessment of current standards for humanities education in medical training and discusses methods for improving the patient-physician relationship based on claims made in C.P. Snow’s lecture, “The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution.” In all, this work is a narrative focused on determining the role and responsibility of physicians to act as advocates for their patients and their communities.