Humanities Institute

Dr. Abraham Verghese: "A Doctor's Touch" Talk

Tue, April 1, 2014 | AT&T Conference Center

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Dr. Abraham Verghese:

I hope that you will be able to join us next Tuesday, April 1 (7:00pm at the AT&T Conference Center) for Dr. Abraham Verghese’s Lecture: A Doctor’s Touch. Our friends in the College of Natural Sciences have asked Dr. Verghese to expand on his TED Talk by the same name.

Dr. Verghese's Biography

Dr. Verghese is a New York Times bestselling author of the book Cutting for Stone and is Senior Associate Chair of Stanford University's School of Medicine.  He will speak about balancing tradition with technology as medicine enters the 21st century.  Dr. Verghese discusses a future for healthcare which marries technological innovation with the traditional doctor-patient relationship.  He grounds his practice in a humanistic commitment to listening to patients' stories and providing what patients want most -- a true caregiver.

From Dr. Verghese’s TED Profile

"In our era of the patient-as-data-point, Abraham Verghese believes in the old-fashioned physical exam, the bedside chat, the power of informed observation."

Why you should listen

Before he finished medical school, Abraham Verghese spent a year on the other end of the medical pecking order, as a hospital orderly. Moving unseen through the wards, he saw the patients with new eyes, as human beings rather than collections of illnesses. The experience has informed his work as a doctor -- and as a writer. "Imagining the Patient’s Experience" was the motto of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, which he founded at the University of Texas San Antonio, where he brought a deep-seated empathy. He’s now a professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford, where his old-fashioned weekly rounds have inspired a new initiative, the Stanford 25, teaching 25 fundamental physical exam skills and their diagnostic benefits to interns. 

He’s also a best-selling writer, with two memoirs and a novel, Cutting for Stone, a moving story of two Ethiopian brothers bound by medicine and betrayal.

He says: “I still find the best way to understand a hospitalized patient is not by staring at the computer screen but by going to see the patient; it's only at the bedside that I can figure out what is important.”

In 2011, Verghese was elected to the Institute of Medicine, which advises the government and private institutions on medicine and health on a national level. 

Please click here to listen!


Dr. Verghese is also well-known for his New York Times articles "Treat the Patient, Not the CT Scan" and "Restoring the Lost Art of the Physical Exam". He has published extensively in The New YorkerSports IllustratedThe Atlantic MonthlyEsquireGrantaThe New York Times MagazineThe Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.  


The Co-Op will have copies of his books for sale, and Dr. Verghese will sign limited copies.

Sponsored by: College of Natural Sciences

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