Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Rescuing the iPatient

CNN talks with Abraham Verghese, novelist and physician, about why a doctor’s touch matters

September 30, 2011 Abraham Verghese is becoming well known for his belief in the importance of the kind of bedside examinations that doctors, in his view, too often skip. For Verghese–the author of the novel Cutting for Stone, which has been on The New York Times bestseller list for eighty-seven weeks–physicians who order high-tech diagnostic tests without ever conducting a physical exam are guilty of reducing human beings to “iPatients.”

On the heels of a provocative TED lecture on the subject, Verghese spoke today with CNN about why American patients themselves are unhappy with the way medicine is currently practiced, even though they receive some of the most expensive healthcare in the world: “It’s amazing how often they will say, ‘He or she never touched me.’ ‘He or she never examined me.’ ‘He or she never listened to what I was trying to say.’ Turns out patients register these deficiencies,” Verghese explained. “The iPatient is getting wonderful care all across America; the real patient often wonders, ‘Where is everyone?'”

Watch the video here. Read Chapter 16‘s interview with Verghese here. For more updates on Tennessee authors, please visit Chapter 16’s News & Notes page, here.