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Awakening Hippocrates: A Primer on Health, Poverty and Global Service and A Practical Guide to Global Health Service were published by the American Medical Association in 2006. Both books aim to help health professionals better understand the reasons for global health disparities and inspire them to volunteer their services to those who are in need.

"These two books (Awakening Hippocrates and A Practical Guide to Global Health Service) should comprise an important tool in what I hope will be a genuine global movement both to understand and to remedy the great disparities in global health that afflict our times." 

-Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer-prize winning author of Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World

Read Paul Farmer's foreword to Awakening Hippocrates here.

Awakening Hippocrates: A Primer on Health, Poverty, and Global Service adds a global perspective to eliminating disparities in health care. This resource examines the state of global health affairs and, through the author’s personal experience and research, illustrates the need for medical volunteering. The book explores how the rich world achieved its good health, and how it has tried to share this knowledge with those in developing countries. Going further, Awakening Hippocrates: shows how the forces of disparity, like racism, sexism, trade imbalances, and infectious disease, among others, have kept change from the poor. Seven exemplary health professionals who have dedicated their lives to service are profiled. This primer outlines the reasons why health professionals are essential to affecting change in current global affairs.

In the Foreword to Awakening Hippocrates, Dr Paul Farmer wrote, "We at last have, in this moving book and in a companion volume, an authoritative overview that allows the reader to understand not only how poverty and inequality shorten lives in a time of medical miracles but also what can be done about it... I know of no other project that has been able to link such sound analysis to the pragmatic advice that all of need as we ask and answer (sometimes without ever learning the lessons of those who've gone before us) the what's-to-be-done question.”

A Practical Guide to Global Health Service profiles approximately 300 organizations that place health service volunteers. Each detailed profile includes concise descriptions, contact information, and practical information about length of service terms, personnel sought, areas served, and availability of funding, training, and room and board. The Guide addresses common obstacles such as fear, time and money constraints, and familial and work obligations. Additional chapters cover the essentials of preparation for service, like travel and safety guidelines, commonly encountered illnesses, pre-trip planning, keys to serving well, and culture.

For more information on Awakening Hippocrates: A Primer on Health, Poverty & Global Service and A Practical Guide to Global Health Service, or for discounts on bulk purchases, call the American Medical Association at 312.464.5306 or email: To contact the author for presentations or interviews, see, or write Both books can be viewed on-line and ordered through the website of the American Medical Association at /Go to the Bookstore. Or call 1-800-621-8335 tool-free. There is a substantial discount available for AMA members. 

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