Face-to-face in a digital age

According to Abraham Verghese, M.D., it might be the most critical moment in an individual’s life – lying on a gurney, almost ready for surgery, and then the anesthesiologist comes to visit.

Abraham Verghese, M.D.

Keynote Speaker: Abraham Verghese, M.D.
Humanistic Care in the Technological Age

9–10:15 a.m.
Saturday

W320 Chapin Theater

“That moment for me, that brief interaction, embodies all of medicine: the juxtaposition of humans needing care, a physician expressing caring, but with a backdrop of mind-boggling technology and a situation that may be routine enough but never lacks the potential to be life-threatening,” he said.

Dr. Verghese is an acclaimed best-selling author, clinician, teacher, international lecturer and a leading voice in the discussion about what quality care means now and in the future. At this year’s ANESTHESIOLOGY 2019 Keynote Address, Dr. Verghese will focus on physician-patient interaction and how technology shapes this interaction, with both opportunities and challenges. His human approach to medicine, and his uncommon vision, make him a fitting keynote speaker to open the 2019 meeting, which is themed “The Human Side of Medicine: Putting Patients First.”

Dr. Verghese is currently Professor and Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor, and Vice Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the School of Medicine at Stanford University. He is also a graduate of the University of Iowa Writers Workshop M.F.A. program – considered by many to be the best in the country – and is celebrated as an unparalleled storyteller, making him one of the most sought-after speakers in health care.

His numerous books, essays and lectures frequently explore the seeming incongruity between the dizzying advances of technology and the lost art of the physical exam – of reassuring patients with touch. During his keynote, he will stress that as much as future paradigms will revolve around teamwork, streamlining of care and artificial intelligence, the voice of anesthesiologists will be critical in ensuring that the standards of personalized caring in the perioperative arena are held up.

“I’m hoping to reinforce the basic core values that brought us all to medicine, for us to keep reminding ourselves of the touchstone, to keep renewing our faith. It’s much too easy to get caught up in technology and what needs to be done next and next and next and lose sight of the need for our ultimate efforts to be directed toward one individual and their care and their safety. Cognitive knowledge and technology alone can’t do that. One needs a strong sense of self and of caring in order to transmit those values to others.”

With insights gleaned from decades of clinical and teaching experience, combined with his warmth and expertise in creative expression, Dr. Verghese’s ANESTHESIOLOGY 2019 Keynote Address will offer meeting attendees an utterly unique experience that should not be missed.

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