It was an honor to interview Harvard Professor Dr. Arthur Kleinman, a luminary in the field of Psychiatry and Medical Anthropology. When I was a college student, Dr. Kleinman's work was a major inspiration for me to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology with a research emphasis on the intersection of psychology and culture.
During the interview, we discussed Dr. Kleinman's most recent book, The Soul of Care: The Moral Education of a Husband and a Doctor. In Soul of Care, Dr. Kleinman discussed his deeply personal 10 year journey of caring for his beloved wife Joan in her struggle with early onset Alzheimer's Dementia. He puts his own experience into perspective drawing from his intellectual and academic focuses on the challenges of Western Medicine to provide adequate and meaningful care to patients and their families. If you have ever been a caretaker, or you currently find yourself in this role, you will certainly find Dr. Kleinman's interview and his book both moving and validating.
Dr. Kleinman is one of the most renowned and influential scholars and writers on psychiatry, anthropology, global health, and cultural and humanistic issues in medicine. Educated at Stanford University and Stanford Medical School, he has taught at Harvard for over forty years. He is currently a professor of psychiatry and of medical anthropology at Harvard Medical School and the Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He was the Fung Director of Harvard’s Asia Center from 2008 to 2016. He is the author of six other books, including The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, and the Human Condition, widely taught in medical schools. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Kleinman is currently directing a project on Social Technology for Global Aging and Eldercare in China that involves faculty and students from six of Harvard's schools as well as a number of his former students who are professors in China.
* photo credit to Torben Eskerod