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Verghese named to head medical humanities and ethics center

Abraham Verghese, M.D., D.Sc. (Hon.), has been named director of The Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He is a professor of medicine and is being recommended for appointment as the Marvin Forland Distinguished Professor in Medical Ethics.

"Dr. Verghese is a distinguished physician and writer who possesses exemplary credentials for this important post," said Steven A. Wartman, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for academic and health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. "In his new role, he will enrich the environment for our medical students, faculty and staff with his focus on the humanistic side of medicine and medical care. He also will direct our teaching efforts in medical ethics."

A graduate of Madras University, Dr. Verghese trained as a resident and chief resident in internal medicine at East Tennessee State University, and served as a fellow in infectious diseases at Boston University. From 1991 to 2002, he was a professor of medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center branch in El Paso. He is board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics, pulmonary diseases and infectious diseases.

He looks forward to the challenge of directing The Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics. "I want the center to bring out the wonderful creative and artistic talents that exist in our students and faculty," he said. "It is a great tribute to this campus and its administration that it is willing to invest in a center such as this to complement the science for which it is so well known."

Dr. Verghese attended the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop, where he obtained a master of fine arts degree. His first book, My Own Country, about a doctor's struggle with the new AIDS epidemic, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for 1994. It was made into a movie. His second book, The Tennis Partner, was a New York Times notable book and a national bestseller. He has published extensively in the medical literature, and his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, Granta, The New York Times Magazine and elsewhere.

Contact: Will Sansom