Intended for healthcare professionals


Anna Donald

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 04 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b436

Remembering A Person Who Dared Always to Ask Questions of the World

She was a kind, loving, energizing friend, a brilliant scholar, and a
deeply committed revolutionary for change. In 2005, we discussed her
desire to retreat to a Walden Pond of her own to write a book chronicling
her discoveries through "evidology" -- little did we or she know then that
her life itself would become her opus, causing all of us to discover anew
the meaning (and indeed the limitations) of science and medicine.

By way of small correction to this record, it is also important to
note (as all 200+ of us did daily during our time as her fellow student)
that Anna graduated in 1996 from the Kennedy School of Government at
Harvard with a Masters in Public Policy. She could always be found at the
intersection of practical and intellectual discourse and was eager to
understand the way in which her learnings from the health field could be
broadened into all disciplines -- economics, development, corporate
finance, and not surprisingly, even art and music. She was not just a
thought partner, but a "spirit" partner to all of us troubled by the
world's growing inequities between classes, races, the educated and those
without education. She challenged us constantly to think bigger, grow
stronger and push beyond long-accepted presumptions. And when we fell
short, she was always there with her wonderful sparkling eyes, easy
trilling laugh and bone-crushing hugs to reassure and inspire us once

She will be missed not just by her friends but also by the world that
depended so much on her incessant, and always important, questioning.

I know I am not alone in missing her daily even now.

Competing interests:
Student with Anna at the Kennedy School of Government

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 July 2010
Jean K Martin
Executive Director
Corporate Leadership Council, Washington DC 20016