Distributed May 11, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Scott Turner



School of Medicine Convocation

Partners in Health founder Paul Farmer to speak at Commencement
Medical anthropologist Dr. Paul Farmer will speak at the Brown Medical School Commencement Convocation Monday, May 28, in the First Unitarian Church of Providence. Eighty-one students will graduate. The medical graduates will also hear addresses from Edward Feller, M.D., of the Brown Medical School faculty, and Derrick Hamilton, a member of the graduating class. The two-hour convocation will begin at 8:45 a.m.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Paul Farmer, M.D., called the physician “who brought Boston medicine to the Central Plateau of Haiti,” will present an address titled “General Anesthesia for the Soul,” at the Brown Medical School Commencement Convocation, Monday, May 28, 2001, in the First Unitarian Church of Providence, corner of Benefit and Benevolent streets. The two-hour convocation will begin at 8:45 a.m.

The medical graduates will also hear addresses from Edward Feller, M.D., of the Brown Medical School faculty, and Derrick Hamilton, a member of the graduating class.

Renowned for providing care to those most in need, Farmer is a professor of medical anthropology at Harvard Medical School and an associate physician in the Infectious Disease Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

He is also co-founder and executive director of Partners in Health, which sponsors medical clinics and other services in Haiti, Mexico, Cambodia, Peru and Roxbury, Mass.

After graduating from Duke University in 1982, with a degree in anthropology, Farmer began visiting Haiti, where he started work building a medical complex in one of the country’s poorest locations. In 1990, he graduated from Harvard with a medical degree and a doctorate in anthropology, while continuing to treat patients in Haiti.

A specialist in infectious and parasitic disease prevention and treatment, Farmer is also the author of six books on health and human rights. He is an outspoken advocate for correcting clinical and social inequalities.

Edward Feller, M.D.

Feller, a clinical professor of medicine, will deliver the faculty address. His talk is entitled, “Only the Mediocre Are Always at Their Best.” Valued as a role model by medical students, Feller received the American Association of Medical Colleges Humanism in Medicine Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 1999. This year, he will receive his second Medical School Senior Citation, the highest award presented by the medical student body during the Medical School Commencement. Feller has been selected four times by students to receive a Faculty Award for Teaching. Since joining the faculty in 1978, he has taught and advised medical students, residents, fellows and undergraduates. His specialties include digestive diseases, gastrointestinal illnesses, exercise, and the appraisal of medical literature.

Derrick Hamilton, M.D. ’01

Hamilton’s talk is titled “Through it All, We Persevered.” At Brown, he has been active in the Student National Medical Association, Big Brothers of Rhode Island, the Primary Care Affinity Group, Multiculturalism Committee and Orientation Committee. Hamilton entered Brown Medical School in 1997, after graduating from Tougaloo College. He will begin a residency in pediatrics at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in his hometown of Memphis.

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