Wayne State anthropologists mourn the loss of Dr. Paul Farmer


Headshot of Paul FarmerWayne State University anthropology department students, faculty, and staff are saddened by the death of Dr. Paul Farmer (1959-2022), physician, fellow medical anthropologist, world humanitarian.

At the time of his death, Dr. Farmer held the Kolokotrones University Professorship and served as the chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His works modeled a life quest that forges together investment in advancing critical scholarship with a professional practice engaging first-hand on the ground with societal issues.

He inspired many students and practitioners to emulate his approach and share the quest to build and use their academic skills, intelligence, and passions to improve the health of the disadvantaged and marginalized. His life’s work concretely demonstrated how to put scholarship, training, and professional expertise to use, helping those without help, those without resources, those without access to power. Paul Farmer’s loss is deeply felt.

Yet his vision and vitality endure in the waves of people across diverse fields he inspired to pursue medicine, medical anthropology, and associated fields will continue and grow his commitment to social justice and the health and well-being of people everywhere.

Statement prepared by medical anthropologists Mark Luborsky, Ph.D., and Andrea Sankar, Ph.D. (past editors, 2006-2013, Medical Anthropology Quarterly: International Journal for Health Analysis), Jessica Robbins, Ph.D., and Jonathan Stillo, Ph.D.

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