On May 19th, the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine celebrated its last graduation ceremony with Dr. Pierre Buekens as dean. The event was highlighted by an address from a special speaker, Dr. Paul Farmer, physician, anthropologist, and founder of Partners in Health.
This well-recognized leader in global health provided a thoughtful and at times humorous speech, that was personal to both himself and the graduates. “I got my Tulane degree today also,” he shared, alluding to the honorary doctorate he had received at Tulane University’s Unified Commencement earlier that day.
[Photo: Dr. Pierre Buekens]
He then went on to share how he had originally planned to attend Tulane medical school, but had instead gone to “the Tulane of the northeast” to pursue medical anthropology.
Dr. Farmer turned serious as he went on to discuss the balkanization of public health, using epidemiology graduate Dr. Adaora Okoli as an example of someone who is working against opposing factions in public health and medicine. “Public health needs to turn against false dichotomies and keep focused on the equity agenda,” he concluded.
The ceremony also included an annual second line of the faculty and graduates.
See Dr. Paul Farmer’s address in full at the SPHTM YouTube Channel.