7 inspiring books affirming the eminence of humanitarian medicine

Humanitarian medicine gets very little attention in the headlines and in public discourse. Defined by low-profile diseases and simple technologies, it is often depicted in small print and postscripts. The stories of healthcare practitioners saving limb and life in the trenches of war zones and in the slums of refugee camps are not the stuff of social media or magazine covers.

CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

But the high ideals of medical practice are arguably best embodied by humanitarian medicine. This form of medicine is after all founded on the inestimable sacrifice of men and women who forgo personal comforts and material prospects to treat the poor and the dispossessed in the gloomiest corners of the world. Humanitarian medicine is also emblematic of the spiritual ethos of medical practice because people selflessly volunteer to put their lives at risk on dangerous missions to all sorts of theatres of conflict, natural disasters, and epidemic outbreaks

Azaz, Syria. Christian Triebert on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/christiaantriebert/7955551210

To celebrate this under-appreciated pillar of medicine, we will review 7 exceptional books which explore the altruism, courage, and passion that are the drivers of humanitarian medicine. It will be whirlwind adventure through these 7 inspiring books affirming the eminence of humanitarian medicine:

***

Hope in Hell

by Dan Bortolotti

***

One by One by One

by Aaron Berkowitz

***

The World’s Emergency Room

by Michael Vanrooyen

***

The Hospital by the River

by Catherine Hamlin

***

War Doctor

by David Nott

***

Fever, Feuds, and Diamonds

by Paul Farmer

***

An Imperfect Offering

by James Orbinski

So stay tuned as we kick off next week with Hope in Hell.

Somali refugees in Dolo Ado, Ethiopia. UNICEF Ethiopia on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/unicefethiopia/8292879639/

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.