Renowned Speakers

on the Saroyan Stage

Dr. Abraham Verghese

Physician, Best-selling Author, Professor

The Patient is the Story

November 17, 2021 | 10:30am | William Saroyan Theatre

Dr. Verghese, a physician and Stanford University School of Medicine professor, eloquently draws on history, literature, and medical experience to reveal why human touch and the patient’s story are vital to doctor-patient relationships. His family forced to leave Ethiopia due to political unrest, Verghese worked as a hospital orderly in the United States, an experience that reinforced his desire to become a doctor and heightened his empathy for patients he observed receiving varying levels of care. Years spent as a doctor working in Tennessee with AIDS patients led to Verghese’s first book My Own Country​ and a hiatus from medicine spent earning an MFA at the esteemed Iowa Writers Workshop. Numerous books followed, including​ Cutting for Stone,​ a ​New York Times​ bestseller included on Amazon’s “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime.” Ultimately becoming a Senior Associate Chair at Stanford, Verghese returned to medicine and continues wielding both the pen and the stethoscope in an exploration of how bedside medicine, the human touch, and the patient’s story matter in an increasingly technological world. A National Humanities Medal recipient, Verghese’s uniquely humanistic approach to medicine resonates with the patient in all of us.