Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...

UPDATED 05/23/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/23/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

>Abraham Verghese

WRITING TO EASE THE PAIN

"WHEN I WENT INTO INFECTIOUS diseases after becoming an internist, it was because it offered the promise of a cure," says Abraham Verghese, 38. "In the early '80s, infectious disease was the one discipline where a cure was common. Today I am a doctor who is unable to cure."

Born in Ethiopia, where his expatriate Indian parents had come to teach, Verghese studied medicine in Madras, India, before moving to the United States in 1980. He then spent three years completing his residency at Johnson City's East Tennessee State University. After additional training at Boston City Hospital, Verghese returned to the tranquil Appalachian town in 1985, never expecting to be confronted with an epidemic. "You're suddenly dealing with people your own age whose plight makes you reflect on your ideas about sex, about social issues and, of course, about your own mortality," he says. "Almost every emotion is magnified and brought into sharp relief with AIDS."

Since 1991, Verghese has lived with his wife, Rajani, and two sons, Steven, 8, and Jacob, 6, in El Paso, where he is chief of infectious diseases at Texas Tech University. In writing, he says he discovered, "a key to some of my frustrations at work. I can't reverse death, I can't get into a patient's mind and think his thoughts," says Verghese. "With writing, the boundaries are virtually limitless."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters