SHALL WE BEGIN?

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In beginning this blog, I wanted to find a way to salute you the reader, to reach around your monitor and say hello. A poet friend, Lee Robinson, just sent me her new collection, "Creed" and she begins the book with the lines:

"Shall we begin, you and I, two

    strangers finding each other nose to

        nose . . ."

She's captured my sense of awe at this moment. For friends who know me, a blog must seem an improbable venture. After all, as a physician I have railed against the " iPatient" --the virtual patient we are busy caring for in the computer, while the patient in the bed is ignored, reduced to an icon--and I have argued that presence (human and not machine, real and not virtual) at the bedside is everything in medicine. But a blog allows me another kind of presence, with you, wherever you happen to be. 

So here is the deal, a creed of sorts:

  • I'll write personally, and about things that move me, and more about persons than things.
  • Though I am fascinated by knowledge, I am even more fascinated by wisdom. (As T.S Eliot put it, "where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge, where is the knowledge we have lost in information"), and will be looking to find wisdom in this sea of information.
  • Medicine may be the lens through which I see the world, but since I think of medicine as "life +", a place where life is exaggerated and seen at its most vital and poignant, I'll be writing about life more than I will be writing about medicine.
  • And last but not least, for this to be a conversation, you will have to reach around that monitor and say something.

So here's to an eventful journey. We can't get there till we begin, so what say we begin?

 

 

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Abraham Verghese is an author, physician and med school professor. He is the author of Cutting for Stone and his writing has appeared in many major publications. More

Abraham Verghese is a physician and writer. His third book and first novel, Cutting for Stone, was published by Knopf in 2009. He is also known for two acclaimed non-fiction works, My Own Country, which was based on his experiences working with persons living with HIV in Johnson City, Tennessee; that book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award and was made into a movie. He followed that with The Tennis Partner, also a New York Times notable book and a national bestseller. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The New York Times , The New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and The Wall Street Journal as well as many medical journals. Verghese is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and infectious diseases. He attended the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa where he earned his MFA. He currently practices and teaches at Stanford University School of Medicine where he is a tenured Professor and Senior Associate Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine.
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