Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Recap of Episode 212: Revisiting the House of God

This past Sunday, while the Radio Rounds crew was in Chicago, we concluded our three-week Experience of Residency series, and the free podcast is now available on our iTunes page here!

Our special guest was Samuel Shem -- which is the pen-name for Harvard psychiatrist and former Rhodes Scholar, Dr. Stephen Bergman. Shem is the author of the famous novel The House of God, which was published over 30 years ago but remains one of the greatest works ever written about the medical profession. As we mentioned last week, The House of God was in fact named by the British medical journal The Lancet as one of the two most important American medical novels of the 20th century, alongside Sinclair Lewis' Arrowsmith.

In the episode, we talked with Shem about why he thinks The House of God is so well-received, even today -- and how the perception of the novel has changed since its time of publication. We also talked about Shem's latest book, The Spirit of the Place and about "how to stay human in medicine." We encourage you to listen to the podcast of this episode, and of each episode in our Experience of Residency series! To recap, our special guests for the series were:

Part I (Episode 210): Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, Author of Intern: A Doctor's Initiation
Part II (Episode 211): Dr. Michael Collins, Author of Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs and Hot Lights, Cold Steel
Part III (Episode 212): Samuel Shem (Dr. Stephen Bergman), Author of The House of God and The Spirit of the Place

Want to hear more from Samuel Shem? Visit his website to listen to his 2009 Harvard Medical School commencement speech.

UP NEXT: Join us next Sunday (November 1) for Radio Rounds, as we will be joined live in the studio by Dr. Daniel Miller, a practicing urologist in Dayton, Ohio. The show will air at 12 p.m. ET with live streaming audio here on the blog. We'll also post more information about that episode later in the week!

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Meet the Hosts

Avash Kalra is a medical student at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. He is a 2005 graduate of Cornell University, where he majored in Psychology. Before starting medical school, Avash worked for one year at the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, Maryland, where he conducted research on lifespan extension. He then worked for one year as a clinical research coordinator in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Avash was born in England and lived there for 11 years. He spends his free time working as a staff writer for an NCAA hockey website. Over time, he has developed unhealthy obsessions with college hockey, poker, and the Dave Matthews Band. His favorite television shows include Lost, 24, Dexter, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. He is now an avid reader... of medical textbooks. He frequently points out that he has "the perfect face for radio." And -- as you'll discover -- he likes puns.

Lakshman Swamy is a medical student at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. He is a 2005 graduate of the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH, where he self-designed the Neuroscience major. Before joining medical school, Lakshman worked for two years in the Trapp lab at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation as a lab technician working with multiple sclerosis.

Lakshman is a young gentleman in the MD/MBA program at Wright State, and accordingly, his favorite character on Scrubs is Dr. Kelso. He has an eclectic taste in music, loves audiobooks -- especially mysteries -- and watches 24, M*A*S*H, and Battlestar Galactica. Yes, two of those shows have run their final season -- he is also constantly behind the times. He has NO idea what he wants to do with his life, but he is sure it will involve turning down the position of Surgeon General for bigger and better things.

Shamie Das is an MD/MBA dual degree student at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. He graduated from Emory University in 2004 as a dual major in Biology and Sociology. He went on to earn his Masters Degree in Public Health in 2007 from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. As a graduate student, he also performed bench research in Molecular and Cell Biology at the Emory University School of Medicine. In his free time during college, Shamie volunteered as an EMT-Intermediate and went on to become certified as a Paramedic.

Shamie was born in England and soon after moved to the US. In his free time he enjoys photography, traveling and fine cuisine. A few of his life goals are to visit every continent and climb Everest. An avid extremist, Shamie enjoys leaping out of perfectly good airplanes, white water rafting and jumping headfirst into gorges. Recently engaged, he also spends countless hours on the phone with his fiancée. His favorite authors include Hemingway, Frost, and Crichton (and of course Robbins). Television is a thing of the past in his current life, but occasionally he still watches PBS and listens to NPR and (of course) Radio Rounds.