The Allende Program in Social Medicine/ El Programa Allende en Medicina Social encourages activism, progressive research, and strategic analysis concerning contemporary health problems. Our founders and current directors of the program work in social medicine, based in New Mexico, the San Francisco Bay Area and Illinois. The motivation for starting the program was a recognition that sources of support for this type of activity often are difficult to find.
The Program takes its name from Salvador Allende, physician and former president of Chile. Throughout his career, Allende struggled for fundamental social change. He recognized that the health and well being of the population were intimately tied to the structure of society. In his classic book, La Realidad Medico-Social Chilena (The Chilean Medical-Social Reality), Allende documented the health problems of the Chilean people and analyzed their sources in the deprivations of class structure and capitalist imperialism. The Program acknowledges Allende’s contributions as well as some of the shortcomings of his approach.