Who are you inspired by in Medicine? My clinical heroes are certainly the classics: William Osler and Hamilton Bailey. Last night whilst working a busy shift, I was reminded(whilst performing a clinical examination on a patient, that gave us the answer to what was wrong, when nothing else made sense) of the power of the clinical examination and of another doctor I respect very much. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him, I’ve never had the privilege of speaking with him, maybe one day, but I love his work; Dr. Abraham Verghese.
Who is he?
He is a practicing physician and extraordinary teacher of bedside examination, but he is also an author and winner of the 2013 Heinz Award for the Arts and Humanities. His works include memoirs such as “My Own Country”, describing his earlier days caring for many of the first AID’s patients, as well as his second memoir “The Tennis Partner” and the widely acclaimed novel “Cutting for Stone.”
He is part of the Faculty at Stanford University and under his direction, the Stanford 25 has been developed. This is a list of clinical examinations that the medical students should know to perform. You should go to the site and have a look. Take a look at Dr Verghese demonstrating gait disorders, this is fantastic.
Below is a lecture given by Dr Abraham Verghese at TED, titled A Doctor’s Touch. Take a few minutes and be inspired.
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One of my favourite quotes of his is:
“I joke, but I only half joke, that if you come to one of our hospitals missing a limb, no one will believe you till they get a CAT scan, MRI or orthopedic consult.”