Voravit Suwanvanichkij, an internist, received his MD and MPH from Johns Hopkins University. He subsequently served on staff at Harborview Hospital, Seattle’s county hospital, and as a volunteer physician in Mae Sot, on the Thai-Burma border. There he helped train local healthcare providers and took care of Burmese migrants displaced by poverty and a decades-long civil war, one in which the Burmese army widely employs scorched earth policies against ethnic civilians as a weapon of warfare. That experience left him with a fascination with Burma and a deep appreciation of the social, political, and economic contexts that drive poor health, particularly the spread of infectious diseases.
Suwanvanichkij is currently a research associate, Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, based in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. He works on international HIV clinical trials and takes care of patients with HIV/AIDS. He remains active on issues related to Burma, misgovernance, and infectious diseases, writing about these links in the biomedical literature and the lay press, the latter usually under various pen-names. His work, often in partnership with human rights organizations, has been used for advocacy, taking the Burmese military to task for their ongoing abuses which perpetuate their rule at the expense of the lives of the peoples of Burma, posing a threat to the public health of the region.