Revisiting The House of God

22 Jan, 2010

On October 25, 2009, while the Radio Rounds crew was in Chicago, we concluded our three-week Experience of Residency series, and the free podcast is available on our iTunes page here!

Our special guest in this episode is 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. 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, Shem talks 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 discuss 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.

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