In a recent interview, physician and noted social activist Dr. Paul Farmer gave this advice to graduating medical professionals: their real impact will come when they work in teams. As the co-founder of Partners in Health and a champion of improving health in underserved communities, Farmer’s work is built on building partnerships and applying successes and lessons learned to new frameworks.
Farmer’s big idea message is alluring in its simplicity, which is what makes it such an important one. After all, collaboration, particularly in terms of community-based health care and in managing chronic diseases across specialties, is something we struggle with in this country. By 2025, an estimated 164 million Americans are expected to live with at least one chronic condition, so coordinated care that utilizes appropriate technology and minimizes complications and disease progression is critical.