MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 1993

Paul E. Farmer

Medical Anthropologist and Physician

Boston, Massachusetts

Age: 34 at time of award

Published July 1, 1993

Paul Farmer is a medical anthropologist and physician who works in impoverished villages in Haiti.

Together with a group of Haitian community activists, Farmer established and runs a rural clinic and hospital in Haiti.  His major interests there are in the prevention and treatment of infectious and parasitic diseases, in community-based responses to endemic and epidemic disease, and in the anthropological investigation of HIV and tuberculosis.  His interdisciplinary research in medicine and the social sciences has focused on the experience of suffering and its sources at the intersection of poverty, political oppression, powerlessness, and pain.  Farmer is the author of AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame (1982), The Uses of Haiti (1994), Infections and Inequalities (1999), and Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor (2004).

Farmer is the founding director of Partners in Health, director of the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  He spends half of each year at Harvard and the other half in Haiti.

Farmer received a B.A. (1982) from Duke University, an M.D. (1990) from the Harvard Medical School, and a Ph.D. (1990) from Harvard University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

Paul E. Farmer In the Media

"World Doctor Farmer Links King's Legacy, Global Health"

Iowa City Press-Citizen
Paul E. Farmer , 1993 MacArthur Fellow
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"The Current State of Global Health"

Paul E. Farmer , 1993 MacArthur Fellow
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Physician's Medical Roots: Libertarian Theology

National Catholic Reporter
Paul E. Farmer , 1993 MacArthur Fellow
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"Paul Farmer on The Colbert Report"

The Colbert Report
Paul E. Farmer , 1993 MacArthur Fellow
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"On Ebola: Paul Farmer"

London Review of Books
Paul E. Farmer , 1993 MacArthur Fellow
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"What’s Missing in the Ebola Fight in West Africa"

Washington Post
Paul E. Farmer , 1993 MacArthur Fellow
Jim Yong Kim , 2003 MacArthur Fellow
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About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

Ellen Bryant Voigt, Poet

Class of 2015