Amy Lehman of Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic: Power Dynamics in Medicine and a Development Journey

Amy Lehman is Founder and CEO at Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic, an international organization, whose mission is to address the problem of healthcare access for millions of people who live in the isolated, but strategically critical lake, Tanganyika, great lakes region of central Africa. She received both an MD and MBA from the University of Chicago, and trained in general surgery at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Additionally, she was a senior fellow with McLean center for Clinical Medical Ethics. She received the 2014 distinguished young alumni award from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She has been mentioned by Newsweek as one of “150 Women who Shake the World” and by a number of other publications.

We start with discussing Amy’s precociously early interest in medicine and brain surgeries and her path through both her medical and business degree.  We hear about the illness that sent her on a different path from surgery and the serendipity that brought her to Lake Tanganyika.  It was witnessing the impact of funding there that inspired her to return to the region to establish the Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic and we hear about the somewhat unorthodox marketing strategy that she uses to promote it and its location!

We speak in some detail about the current state of development aid and how it is often well-intended but clumsily executed and suggest a different, more nuanced, and more targeted path.

Finally we discuss high and low points of working in such a challenged area, the role of power dynamics in medicine and the impact that such work has.

This series is being supported by an anonymous supporter and we are using our traditional sponsor slots to shine a light on organizations that promote diversity in medicine.  These include

The Doctors Back to School Program through the American Medical Association which sends minority physicians and minority medical students into schools in underserved communities as a way to introduce children to minority medical role models.  Contact for more information on the Doctors Back to School program.

GLMA is a national organization committed to ensuring health equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and all sexual and gender minority (SGM) individuals, and equality for LGBTQ/SGM health professionals in their work and learning environments.  To achieve this mission, GLMA utilizes the scientific expertise of its diverse multidisciplinary membership to inform and drive advocacy, education, and research.

The American Medical Women’s Association is focused on supporting and retaining women in healthcare through promoting gender equity in medicine.

The National Orthopaedic Alliance and international Orthopaedic Diversity Alliance.