Recent Talks

Abraham Verghese at PodiumAbraham Verghese is a sought-after speaker at forums across the globe, and to a large extent, his message is a continuing emphasis on the patient-physician relationship and its vital place in the practice of medicine even in a time of huge advances in medical technology.

TEDx Stanford 2015:
The Great Lie that Tells the Truth
View the talk…

Health Forward, Athens, September 2014:
Rituals, Metaphors and Medicine in a Tech Age
View the talk…

TEDMED 2014:
Abraham Verghese, Provostial Professor and Vice Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, shares a compelling and original perspective on the impact of language on medicine. View the talk…

July 2013: National Association of Public Hospitals:
Touching Where it Hurts; Role and Ritual in the Bedside Exam Abraham Verghese discusses the role and ritual of bedside care, giving a short history of the practice of medicine and emphasizing the physical exam, which he describes as “a ritual at the heart of health care.” Listen to the talk…

June 8, 2013: Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth
Abraham Verghese, who places great value on humanism in medical education, was the featured speaker at the Geisel School of Medicine of Dartmouth’s 2013 Class Day activities on June 8. “His work resonates with me,” said Joe O’Donnell, MD, professor of medicine and psychiatry. “He’s an advocate for the sanctity of the doctor/patient relationship – he believes that the doctor’s touch makes a difference to patients because it conveys the physician’s attentiveness and undivided attention.”

2013: The Future of Health Care
Abraham Verghese and Vinod Khosla, former Sun Microsystems CEO, debate the future of health care at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, presenting their opposing viewpoints with Moderator Robert Pearl, CEO of the Permanente Medical Group posing the question whether artificial intelligence and critical support systems could or should replace traditional, human-centered diagnosis and treatment with scientific, data-driven methods. Watch the debate…

January 2013: Jaipur Literary Festival
Abraham Verghese talked with Rick Simonson about his idea that “geography is destiny,” explaining that in his own life, when his parents moved from south India to Ethiopia, where he was born, it made his destiny different from theirs, which it might not otherwise have been. He saw himself as an Ethiopian. When they later moved to America because of the unrest and war, his destiny changed again. He found himself an expatriate in the country where he was born. And so destiny plays a role with the characters in his novel, Cutting for Stone, who all have connections with India, Ethiopia and America. While many things are different in medicine in the three locales, the basic patient-doctor relationship remains one of care and understanding, curing and healing. Watch the interview…

May 2012: Tanner Lecture, University of Utah
Abraham Verghese talks about his concerns that technological advances in modern medicine tend to make physicians overlook the importance and value of listening to their patients’ stories. Listen to the talk…

July 2011: TED Global Conference in Scotland
In this famously short TED presentation in Edinburgh, Abraham Verghese makes the case for the patient-physician relationship through walking his audience through the history of medicine to present day practices. In January, 2013, it reached the milestone of one million views. Listen to the talk…

How to Invite Abraham Verghese to Speak

To inquire about or schedule Abraham Verghese for a presentation, contact Jennifer Bird Bowen at the Leigh Bureau – 908-253-6030.

Leigh Bureau