December 10, 2009

Dr. Abraham Verghese

Host Marcia Franklin talks with Dr. Abraham Verghese, a professor at the Stanford School of Medicine and an author of both fiction and non-fiction works.

Franklin and Verghese not only talk about the themes of his work, but also his thoughts on health care reform and ways for doctors to establish better working relationships with their patients.

Verghese's first book, My Own Country, was a poignant chronicle of how his life was changed by working with AIDS patients in rural Tennessee. It was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

He went on to pen another non-fiction work called The Tennis Partner, about a doctor's struggle with mental illness and drug addiction. He is also a frequent contributor to magazines and journals, writing articles about medical ethics.

Most recently, Verghese turned his focus to a work of fiction, Cutting for Stone. The expansive book follows the saga of two Indian brothers as they learn more about their past. With medicine as its backdrop, it also allows Verghese to explore some of what he views as the best and worst aspects of his profession. It is set in Ethopia, where he grew up.

The interview was taped at the Sun Valley Writers' Conference. Since 1995, the conference has been bringing together bestselling authors for discussions about literature and life. Franklin has been conducting interviews there since 2005. Past interviews can be found at http://idahoptv.org/dialogue/sunvalleywriters/.