Farmer has won honors including:
Paul Edward Farmer (born October 26, 1959) is an American Anthropologist and physician who is best known for his humanitarian work providing suitable health care to rural and under-resourced areas in developing countries, beginning in Haiti. Co-founder of an international social justice and health organization, Partners In Health (PIH), he is known as "the man who would cure the world", as described in the book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.
In 1987, Farmer, along with Ophelia Dahl, Jim Yong Kim, Thomas J. White and Todd McCormack, co-founded Partners In Health. PIH began in Cange in the Central Plateau of Haiti. It has developed into a worldwide health organization with a model for providing health care. The PIH hospital in Haiti provides free treatment to patients. PIH helps patients living in poverty to obtain effective drugs to treat tuberculosis and AIDS.
Farmer resides in Kigali, Rwanda as of 2008. He is board certified in internal Medicine and infectious disease. He is editor-in-chief of Health and Human Rights Journal. In May 2009, Farmer was nominated to head the U.S. Agency for International Development, but the nomination was withdrawn. In August 2009, Farmer was named United Nations Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti (serving under former US President Bill Clinton, in his capacity as Special Envoy), to assist in improving the economic and social conditions of the Caribbean nation.
In October 2009, Farmer gave a lecture titled "Development: Creating Sustainable Justice" at the University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series.
In May 2009, he was named chairman of Harvard Medical School's Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, succeeding Jim Yong Kim, his longtime friend and collaborator. Kim was appointed as of 2012 President of the World Bank. On December 17, 2010, Harvard University's President, Drew Gilpin Faust, and the President and Fellows of Harvard College, named Farmer as a University Professor, the highest honor that the University can bestow on one of its faculty members.
He was appointed as United Nations Secretary-General's Special Adviser for Community-based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti on December 28, 2012.
On June 11, 2014, Farmer endorsed fellow physician Don Berwick for Governor of Massachusetts.
Author Tracy Kidder wrote Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, which describes Farmer's work in Haiti, Peru, and Russia. It also covers his efforts to balance clinical and academic responsibilities with having a family. The book explores the interactions and conflicts that Farmer faced in continuing to work to secure Health care for the poor in Haiti. The book won several awards. The story of Partners in Health is also told in the 2017 documentary, Bending the Arc.