Department of Medicine

TEDMED 2014 Highlight: Dr. Abraham Verghese explores the impact of language on health

Dr. Abraham Verghese

One of the highlights of September's TEDMED 2014, a three-day event held in Washington DC, and San Francisco, was a talk – “Stealing Smart” – by Abraham Verghese, MD. During his talk, Verghese discussed the impact of language on health, touching on such topics as the power of metaphor and the fact that diseases and syndromes are often named after their discovers. “Anybody with a curiosity for the human condition, with the willingness to work hard, and with an empathy for fellow humans, can be a great physician,” he said.

Speakers at the event included a vast range of talent, from a musical performance by Farah Siraj, Jordanian singer and song writer; to Gary Conkright, CEO of PhysIQ, which has a predictive analytics application to warn physicians of changes in their patients’ health; to Elizabeth Nabel, MD, president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and former director of the NHLBI; and to Nadine Burke Harris, MD, CEO of Center for Youth Wellness, who spoke about a factor recognizable in childhood that impacts much adult-onset disease.

For a synopsis of the event, visit the TEDMED blog.

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