Distributed April 10, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Scott Turner

Novelist and playwright Samuel Shem will lecture May 3

Samuel Shem, a.k.a. Stephen J. Bergman, author of two best-selling novels about the medical community, will present “How to Stay Human in Medicine: The House of God and Mount Misery,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, 2000, in the Salomon Center for Teaching. His talk is free and open to the public.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Samuel Shem, author of the highly acclaimed The House of God and Mount Misery, and most recently, Can We Talk?, will discuss humanism and medicine at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, 2000, in the Salomon Center for Teaching, located on The College Green. His talk is free and open to the community and will be followed by a public reception.

Shem is the pen name of Stephen J. Bergman, clinical instructor in psychiatry in the Harvard Medical School. Bergman is also director of the Bill W. and Dr. Bob Project in the Division of Addictions. An affiliated scholar at the Stone Center, Wellsley College, he has written about the relational development of men and is co-director of the Gender Relations Research Project, which specializes in working with boys and girls in elementary and middle schools.

The House of God, a black comedy about medical internship, has sold more than 2 million copies. It was named by the British journal The Lancet as one of the two most important American medical novels of the 20th century.

Shem’s plays include Room for one Woman and Napoleon’s Dinner. With his wife, Dr. Janet Surrey, he is author of the play Bill W. and Dr. Bob, about the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. Last year, Shem and Surrey published a book about their work on gender and couples, We Have to Talk: Healing Dialogues Between Women and Men.

Shem’s visit is sponsored by The Arnold Gold Foundation, an organization that seeks to foster humanism in medicine. The Foundation supports student-faculty chapters at several medical schools including the Brown School of Medicine, which is also sponsoring his talk.