Abraham Verghese, a faculty fellow since 2017-18, launched the Stanford Presence Center to focus on the human connection in medicine. Housed within the Stanford School of Medicine, Presence seeks to add the social science dimensions to a multidisciplinary focus on balancing high touch and high tech for the equitable and inclusive experience of medicine. Their research aims include: understanding the human experience of patients, physicians and caregivers and how it relates to medical error and outcomes; and how to leverage technology for the human experience of medicine. Through collaboration with CASBS fellows, Presence explores these issues using insights from sociology, psychology, political science, organizational economics, and other disciplines that historically have honed their cutting edge at CASBS.
Verghese’s career combines the roles of physician and author. His non-medical writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Granta, the Atlantic, and other venues. His last novel Cutting for Stone (Knopf, 2009) spent over 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. His new book, The Covenant of Water, will be published the Grove Atlantic in May 2023.
At Stanford’s School of Medicine, Verghese is the Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor, and vice chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine in the department of medicine. He is a physician trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases. He is the recipient of several honorary degrees, and an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, and the American Association of Arts & Sciences. In September 2016, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal from President Obama.