Clinical Focus

  • Bedside Exam
  • Patient-Physician relationships
  • Internal Medicine
  • Medical Education

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Senior Associate Chair for the Theory & Practice of Medicine, Stanford University, Department of Medicine (2007 - Present)
  • Clerkship Director, Stanford University, Department of Medicine (2007 - Present)
  • Adjunct Faculty, Freeman Spogli Institute: Stanford Health Policy (2010 - Present)
  • Faculty, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics (2009 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Doctor of Humane Letters (Hon), Upstate Medical University, SUNY Syracuse (2012)
  • Member, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (2011)
  • Member, Association of American Physicians, Association of American Physicians (2006)
  • Master, American College of Physicians (2005)
  • John P. McGovern Medal, Osler Society, Montreal (2007)
  • Doctor of Humane Letters (Hon), University of Northern Illinois (2007)
  • Doctor of Science (Hon), Swarthmore College (2001)

Professional Education

  • Fellowship:East Tennessee State University Medicine (1988) TN
  • Residency:East Tennessee State University Medicine (1983) TN
  • Medical Education:Madras University Medicine (1980) India
  • Master of Fine Arts, The University of Iowa, Fiction (1991)
  • Board Certification: Pulmonary Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine (1988)
  • Board Certification: Infectious Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine (1986)
  • Fellow in Infectious Diseases, Boston Univ School of Medicine, Infectious Diseases (1985)
  • Fellowship:Boston University Medical Center/Framington (1985) MA
  • Board Certification: Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine (1983)
  • Residency in Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Medicine (1983)
  • MD, Madras University, Medicine (1979)

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

My interest is in clinical skills and the bedside exam, both in its technical aspects, but also in the importance of the ritual and what is conveyed by the physician's presence and technique at the bedside. This work interests me from an educational point of view, and also from the point of view of ethnographic studies related to rituals and how they transform the patient-physician relationship.


2013-14 Courses


Journal Articles

  • A piece of my mind. The road back to the bedside. JAMA-the journal of the American Medical Association Elder, A., Chi, J., Ozdalga, E., Kugler, J., Verghese, A. 2013; 310 (8): 799-800

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jama.2013.227195

    View details for PubMedID 23982364

  • The Attending Physician on the Wards Finding a New Homeostasis JAMA-JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION Wachter, R. M., Verghese, A. 2012; 308 (10): 977-978

    View details for Web of Science ID 000308579300017

    View details for PubMedID 22968883

  • The Bedside Evaluation: Ritual and Reason ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE Verghese, A., Brady, E., Kapur, C. C., Horwitz, R. I. 2011; 155 (8): 550-U125


    The bedside evaluation, consisting of the history and physical examination, was once the primary means of diagnosis and clinical monitoring. The recent explosion of imaging and laboratory testing has inverted the diagnostic paradigm. Physicians often bypass the bedside evaluation for immediate testing and therefore encounter an image of the patient before seeing the patient in the flesh. In addition to risking delayed or missed diagnosis of readily recognizable disease, physicians who forgo or circumvent the bedside evaluation risk the loss of an important ritual that can enhance the physician-patient relationship. Patients expect that some form of bedside evaluation will take place when they visit a physician. When physicians complete this evaluation in an expert manner, it can have a salutary effect. If done poorly or not at all, in contrast, it can undermine the physician-patient relationship. Studies suggest that the context, locale, and quality of the bedside evaluation are associated with neurobiological changes in the patient. Recognizing the importance of the bedside evaluation as a healing ritual and a powerful diagnostic tool when paired with judicious use of technology could be a stimulus for the recovery of an ebbing skill set among physicians.

    View details for DOI 10.1059/0003-4819-155-8-201110180-00013

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296066300022

    View details for PubMedID 22007047

  • The Physical Exam and Other Forms of Fiction J Gen Intern Med Kugler J, Verghese A 2010
  • Cutting for Stone A novel published by Vintage Books Edition, NY Verghese A 2010
  • Cutting for Stone A novel published by Alfred P. Knopf, NY Verghese A 2009
  • A touch of sense "Health Affairs Verghese A 2009; 24 (8): 1177-82
  • In Praise of the Physical Examination British Medical Journal Verghese A, Horwitz RI 2009; 339: 5448
  • My Own Country: A Doctor's Story of a Town and Its People in the Age of AIDS Simon & Schuster, New York, NY 1994. Verghese A
  • The Tennis Partner: A Doctor's Story of Friendship and Loss 1998 Aug. (Harper Collins in the USA, Vintage in the UK, Penguin in India). 1999 Oct Paperback version (by Harper Perennial in the USA and Vintage in UK) Verghese A
  • Caring for Ivan Ilyich J Gen Intern Med Charlton B, Verghese A 2010; 25 (1): 93-5
  • Culture Shock: The Patient as Icon, Icon as Patient New England Journal of Medicine Verghese A 2008; 359 (26): 2748-51
  • The Calling New England Journal of Medicine Verghese A 2005; 352 (18): 1844-7

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