Image by Bluerasberry
Ever since I read his haunting, heartbreaking novel, Cutting for Stone, six years ago, I’ve been awed by the accomplishments of Dr. Abraham Verghese.
He’s not only a bestselling author of thought-provoking and beautifully written books, but he’s also an infectious disease physician and educator at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and a compelling speaker. I am a huge fan.
So you can understand my excitement when IHI confirmed Abraham Verghese as a keynote speaker at this year’s IHI National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care.
You may have seen Dr. Verghese’s TED talks. Perhaps you’ve read his novel or memoirs or encountered his articles in The New York Times, The Atlantic, or The New Yorker. If so, you know that he is a powerful advocate for the importance of human touch — both literally and figuratively — in the healing process. Dr. Verghese persuades us of the need for greater human connection in health care as technology draws providers to the keyboard and away from the bedside.
Dr. Verghese also asks us to remember that health care is a calling, and that it is a privilege to be a part of our patients’ stories. With high burnout rates among health care providers, and the demands of the evolving health care environment undermining joy in work, his teachings about empathy and the importance of interactive patient care resonate with many.
I’m thrilled we’ll all have the chance to be the beneficiaries of his many talents this year at the IHI National Forum.
Becka DeSmidt is the IHI Open School Community Manager.
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