Department of Medicine

Stanford Initiative in Bedside Medicine: Overview

The philosophy of Stanford’s Department of Medicine is that the practice of medicine is a privilege and a calling, and that it combines both art and science.  There is perhaps no better description of the scope of internal medicine than a seminal paragraph written by Tinsley Harrison in the preface to the first edition of Harrison’s Textbook of Internal Medicine published in 1950.

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Abraham Verghese, MD, teaches bedside exam procedure to interns.

“No greater opportunity, responsibility or obligation can fall to the lot of a human being than to become a physician. In the care of the suffering, she needs technical skill, scientific knowledge, and human understanding. She who uses this with courage, with humility and with wisdom, will provide a unique service for her fellow beings, and will build an enduring edifice of character within herself. The physician should ask of her destiny no more than this; she should be content with no less.”

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