Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela and Cuba Are Changing the World’s Conception of Health Care

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NYU Press, 2011 - Medical - 256 pages
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Revolutionary Doctors gives readers a first-hand account of Venezuela’s innovative and inspiring program of community healthcare, designed to serve—and largely carried out by—the poor themselves. Drawing on long-term participant observations as well as in-depth research, Brouwer tells the story of Venezuela’s Integral Community Medicine program, in which doctor-teachers move into the countryside and poor urban areas to recruit and train doctors from among peasants and workers. Such programs were first developed in Cuba, and Cuban medical personnel play a key role in Venezuela today as advisors and organizers. This internationalist model has been a great success—Cuba is a world leader in medicine and medical training—and Brouwer shows how the Venezuelans are now, with the aid of their Cuban counterparts, following suit.

But this program is not without its challenges. It has faced much hostility from traditional Venezuelan doctors as well as all the forces antagonistic to the Venezuelan and Cuban revolutions. Despite the obstacles it describes, Revolutionary Doctors demonstrates how a society committed to the well-being of its poorest people can actually put that commitment into practice, by delivering essential healthcare through the direct empowerment of the people it aims to serve.

 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
7
Where Do Revolutionary Doctors Come From?
11
Solidarity and Internationalism
21
Creating Two Three One Hundred Thousand Che Guevaras
41
Medicine in Revolutionary Cuba
55
Barrio Adentro
73
Witnessing Barrio Adentro in Action
95
New Doctors for Venezuela
111
Building Community Medicine on a Daily Basis
129
Revolutionary Medicine in Conflict with the Past
153
The Battle of Ideas and the Battle for Our America
175
The U S Counterinsurgency Campaign
201
Practicing Medicine Practicing Revolution
215
Notes
231
Index
247
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Steve Brouwer is the author of Robbing Us Blind: The Return of the Bush Gang; Sharing the Pie: A Citizen’s Guide to Wealth and Power in the United States; Exporting the American Gospel: Global Christian Fundamentalism (co-authored with Susan D. Rose); and Conquest and Capitalism, 1492-1992. He is also a carpenter and designer, and has organized worker-owned construction businesses and housing cooperatives. In 2007-2008, he lived in a rural village in the mountains of Venezuela and wrote about his campesino neighbors and the Bolivarian Revolution.

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