20 Facts About Abraham Verghese


Abraham Verghese was born on 1955 and is an American physician, author, Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine and Vice Chair of Education at Stanford University Medical School.


Abraham Verghese is the author of four best-selling books: two memoirs and two novels.


Abraham Verghese received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama in 2015.


Abraham Verghese is the co-host with Eric Topol of the podcast Medscape Medicine and the Machine.


Abraham Verghese was born in Ethiopia to Christian parents from Kerala, India, who worked as teachers.


In 2014, Verghese received the 19th Annual Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities.


Abraham Verghese began his medical training in Ethiopia, but his education was interrupted during the civil unrest there when the Emperor was deposed and a Marxist military government took over.

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Abraham Verghese came to America with his parents and two brothers.


Abraham Verghese worked as an orderly for a year before going to India where he completed his medical studies at Madras Medical College in Madras, now Chennai.


Abraham Verghese opted for a residency in a brand-new program in Johnson City, Tennessee, affiliated with East Tennessee State University.


Abraham Verghese was a resident there from 1980 to 1983, and then secured a coveted fellowship at Boston University School of Medicine in 1983, where he worked for two years at Boston City Hospital and where he saw the early signs of the urban epidemic of HIV in that city.


Abraham Verghese applied to and was accepted to the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa.


Abraham Verghese cashed in his retirement plan and his tenured position to go to Iowa City with his young family.


Abraham Verghese has three children, two grown sons by his first marriage and a third by his second marriage.


Abraham Verghese became founding Director of The Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2002.


Abraham Verghese's focus here was on medical humanities as a way to preserve the innate empathy and sensitivity that brings students to medical school but which the rigor of their training frequently represses.


Abraham Verghese's writing and work continue to explore the importance of bedside medicine, the ritual of the physical examination in the era of advanced technology, where, as he notes frequently in his writing, the patient in the bed is often ignored in favor of the patient data in the computer.


Abraham Verghese is renowned at Stanford for his weekly bedside rounds, where he insists on examining patients without knowledge of their diagnosis to demonstrate the wealth of information available from the physical exam.


Abraham Verghese's first novel, Cutting for Stone, is set in Ethiopia and the United States and describes a period of dramatic political change in Ethiopia, a time of great loss for the author himself, who as an expatriate had to leave the country even though he had been born there.


Abraham Verghese's writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Texas Monthly, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, Forbes The Daily Beast and The Wall Street Journal.