Author and physician Abraham Verghese. An Indian raised in Ethopia, Abraham Verghese arrived in the United States in 1980 as a rookie doctor. Upon completing an internship in infectious diseases, Dr. Verghese accepted a position in the rural, Appalachian town of Johnson City, Tennessee. The year was 1985 and AIDS had begun to ravage large metropolitan areas. Within the year, Dr. Verghese was treating his first case of AIDS in this rural outpost.