Distributed March 7, 2003
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis
2003 Sheridan Lecture
Abraham Verghese, M.D., to speak on meaning in medical life
Abraham Verghese, M.D., author of My Own Country – A Doctor’s Story, will give the 11th annual Harriet W. Sheridan Literature and Medicine Lecture when he speaks on “The Search for Meaning in a Medical Life” on Wednesday, March 19, 2003, at 4 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green. This event is free and open to the public.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Physician and author Abraham Verghese will give the 11th annual Harriet W. Sheridan Literature and Medicine Lecture on Wednesday, March 19, 2003, at 4 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching. He will speak on “The Search for Meaning in a Medical Life.”
Verghese, the author of the critically acclaimed My Own Country – A Doctor’s Story, was born in Ethiopia in 1955 to Indian parents. He attended medical school in Ethiopia and worked as an orderly in various hospitals in the United States, then completed his medical education in India. After returning to the United States in 1980, he completed his internship and residency in Johnson City, Tenn., trained at Boston University School of Medicine as a specialist in infectious diseases, and returned to Johnson City to practice his specialty. It was in that rural setting that he unexpectedly found himself confronted with an ever-increasing number of HIV and AIDS cases, which soon became the focus of his career.
In 1990 Verghese moved to Iowa, where he worked at the University of Iowa outpatient AIDS clinic. He also attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop and earned an M.F.A. Since then his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, The North American Review, Sports Illustrated, Story and many medical journals. In addition to My Own Country, he is the author of The Tennis Partner, a memoir about a friendship between two doctors.
Verghese is now director of the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He is also professor of medicine at Texas Tech University School of Medicine.
The Sheridan Lecture offers the community nationally recognized speakers who explore the writings of physicians, narratives from patients and families, and stories of mental illness. Past lecturers have included novelists William Styron, Andrew Solomon and Samuel Shem (the pen name of Stephen J. Bergman, M.D.), poet physician Dannie Abse, and Suzanne Poirier, the editor of Literature and Medicine, among others.
Harriet W. Sheridan, who died in 1992, was dean of the College and professor of English at Brown. The Sheridan Lecture, which honors her, is the first endowed lectureship in literature and medicine at a medical school.
The lecture is free and open to the public; it will be followed by a reception in the lobby. For further information, call (401) 863-3232.