When Dr. Joia Mukherjee visited her father's hometown of Calcutta, India as a child in 1972, she observed for the first time how poverty and lack of healthcare wreaks havoc on quality of life. She went on to study medicine, volunteer in Africa, and ultimately—after becoming a doctor—join Partners in Health (PIH), a nonprofit that strives to improve access to health care in countries that are most in need.


She now serves as chief medical officer at PIH and teaches global health at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Her 2017 book, An Introduction to Global Health Delivery—featuring a foreword by PIH cofounder Paul Farmer—examines the interaction between social forces and healthcare access and proposes ways of addressing the problems.


During a conversation in her Boston office, Dr. Mukherjee talked about how slavery, colonialism, and neoliberalism have contributed to the crisis in global health care access (3:30); the impact of a childhood visit to India (7:00); how economic practices impact healthcare access (16:30); how diverging definitions of freedom illuminate global healthcare issues (22:30); an example of a success story in Haiti (26:30); and how the media has fallen short in covering global health (30:00).


RELATED LINKS


Partners in Health website


Profile article: Dr. Joia Mukherjee | Global Health Warrior


Mukherjee's Book: An Introduction to Global Health Delivery