Paul Farmer, author and co-founder of Partners in Health, appeared on a recent panel at Dartmouth College called Reflections on Leadership for Social Change, part of the inauguration ceremony for Dartmouth’s new president. In this excerpt, Farmer recalls his lifelong desire to become a doctor, and how a college class in medical anthropology spurred him toward his work with Partners in Health.

Paul Farmer is author of the forthcoming Partner to the Poor. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Partners In Health.