Samuel Shem, pen name of Stephen Bergman, is a doctor, novelist, playwright, essayist and activist.
Dr. Bergman was a graduate of Harvard, a Rhodes scholar at Balliol College, Oxford, where he completed a D.Phil. in physiology, and a graduate of Harvard Medical School. Following his schooling and formal training he was on faculty at Harvard for over three decades.
Samuel Shem’s literary works have sold over 3 million copies. The majority of his notoriety coming from his classic novel ‘The House of God’ (1978). His daring book speaks boldly about the physical, emotional and mental demands placed on young physicians in training, and was recently named one of the two most important American medical novels of the 20th century. by the British medical journal The Lancet.
In addition to The House of God, Samuel Shem is the author of many other novels including Mount Misery and Fine. His 2008 novel, The Spirit of the Place, won the National Best Book Award 2008 from USA Book News, and the Independent Publishers National Book Award in Literary Fiction, 2009.
With his wife, Janet Surrey, Samuel Shem wrote the hit off-Broadway play Bill W. and Dr. Bob, about the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. The play ran for 11 months and won the Performing Arts Award of the National Council on Alcoholism. Shem and Surrey have also written the nonfiction book We Have to Talk: Healing Dialogues Between Men and Women, and The Buddha’s Wife: The Path of Wise Relation.
Dr. Bergman has given over 50 commencement speeches on “Staying Human in Medicine,” and has published a noted essay, “Fiction as Resistance”. (Annals of Internal Medicine 2002)
Shem, has been called “the comic genius and the holy terror of medicine.” “Rabelaisian,” “the raucous and insightful physician of the soul.”
Dr. Bergman is now a clinical professor of Medicine in the Division of Medical Humanities for NYU School of Medicine. He continues to write and teach a seminar entitled “Inside the House of God.”
Click Here to visit Samuel Shem’s website.[title size=”5″ content_align=”left” style_type=”default” sep_color=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” class=”” id=””]Photo Credit: Michele McDonald for The Boston Globe[/title]