Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Berk Mentioned in New York Times Blog

Berk Mentioned in New York Times Blog

School of Medicine Dean, TTUHSC Provost and Executive Vice President Steven L. Berk, M.D., was mentioned in a blog for the "New York Times" by Abraham Verghese, M.D., a former resident under Berks' direction. Verghese reminisced about his experience with Berk and the things he carried in his doctor's bag.

Full Article:http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/the-doctors-bag-for-the-new-millennium/


A few years later, when I was an intern in Tennessee, my attending physician and mentor, Steven Berk, carried a leather doctor’s bag, one he had toted around since his medical school days. His bag, unlike my uncle’s, was small — the size of a loaf of bread, or perhaps a bit bigger — just enough to carry his ophthalmoscope, blood pressure cuff, reflex hammer and a few other things. It was well worn.

The bag became a fetish for me. It embodied all the qualities I admired about the man: He was a careful listener, and he examined patients thoroughly and well. In the Mountain Home Veterans Hospital in Tennessee, which had a large domiciliary and nursing home population, he made original observations about pneumonia in the elderly and became a pioneer in the field.

When I became Dr. Berk’s chief resident, three years later, I bought a similar bag even though it was prohibitively expensive on a resident’s salary. Mine was stiff, and despite lots of rubbing with neatsfoot oil it remained hard and unyielding.