Dr. Abraham Verghese
Professor for the theory and practice of medicine, senior associate chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, Stanford University Medical School, Palo Alto, California
Born in Ethiopia to parents from Kerala, India, Dr. Abraham Verghese began his medical career as an orderly. Influenced by his work, he decided to become a physician. Dr. Verghese’s early years as an orderly, his caring for terminal AIDS patients, the insights gained from the deep relationships he formed and the suffering he witnessed were intensely transformative.
In the 1980s Dr. Verghese decided to take some time away from medicine to study at the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, where he earned a master of fine arts degree in 1991. Since then, his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Texas Monthly, Atlantic, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Granta,
Forbes.com and The Wall Street Journal. Dr. Verghese also has authored three best-selling books: My Own Country, The Tennis Partner and Cutting for Stone. His unique style of interacting with patients emphasizes the personal touch that is often lacking in today’s medical world.
Dr. Verghese received his medical degree (MBBS) and completed his internship at Madras University in 1979. From Johnson City, Tennessee, where he was an internal medicine resident from 1980 to 1983, he moved to the Northeast for a fellowship at Boston University School of Medicine, working at Boston City Hospital for two years. The year 1985 marked his return to Johnson City and his personal transformation, leading to his first book, My Own Country.
Advancing in his practice in 2002, Dr. Verghese became founding director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Verghese currently is the professor for the theory and practice of medicine and associate chair of internal medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dr. Rod Passman
Cardiovascular Medicine Clinic, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Illinois
A graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Passman completed his internship and residency at Bronx Municipal Hospital Center in New York. He also has a masters degree in epidemiology. He is board certified in cardiovascular disease and cardiac electrophysiology.
Dr. Passman is an associate professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. His research focuses on atrial fibrillation, emerging indications for defibrillators and device programming. Dr. Passman currently holds grants from the National Institutes of Health and private industry. He is the medical director of Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute’s atrial fibrillation program, associate director of cardiac electrophysiology and a member of the Northwestern Medical Facility Foundation. His clinical experiences include diagnostic electrophysiology, ablation and device implementation.