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10 February, 2009

Dr. Abraham Varghese’s first novel

Indian American physician Abraham Verghese, who has made a mark in the US as a writer as well, has just published his first novel, "Cutting for Stone".

A SAJAforum message says the sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel – an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home – also deals with some of the medical issues he cares deeply about.

Born of Indian parents who were teachers in Ethiopia, he grew up near Addis Ababa and began his medical training there. When Emperor Haile Selassie was deposed, he completed his training at Madras Medical College and went to the United States for his residency as one of many foreign medical graduates. Like many others, he found only the less popular hospitals and communities open to him, an experience he described in one of his articles, "The Cowpath to America".

After a five-year run as founding director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, specializing in research on empathy for patient suffering, Dr. Abraham Verghese moved in 2007 to Stanford Medical School to become Professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine.

While being enormously successful in his job as a physician whose pioneering work is in bedside medicine (emphasizing the patient in the bed, rather than the patient data in the computer), he's also managed to be a prolific and closely-followed writer. His New Yorker articles and his nonfiction books, 1994's "My Own Country" (a Time magazine best book of the year) and 1988's "The Tennis Partner" (soon to be re-issued in paperback for a second time) have gained him fans across the US, as did the 1998 movie based on "My Own Country," directed by Mira Nair and starring Naveen Andrews of "Lost."

To know more about Dr. Abraham Verghese, please visit his website.

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