One Community/One Book 2016: God’s Hotel

“Others have written about the relationship between time and medical care with similar eloquence and urgency, but the centuries of perspective that Dr. Sweet brings infuse the point with unforgettable clarity. Sick people need time, she demonstrates repeatedly, and their doctors do, too.”                                                                                                                                                                                                             A Hospital That Gave Its Patients Time to Heal

Cover Photograph of God's Hotel by Victoria SweetThe Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics and the Libraries of the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio have chosen God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine by Victoria Sweet as a 2016 One Community/One Book selection.

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Victoria Sweet, MD, PhD is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. Following her BS in Mathematics from Stanford University and her MD from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, Dr. Sweet earned an MA and a PhD in the History of the Health Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco. Her research focused on the 12th-century German abbess, composer, theologian, visionary, and medical practitioner Hildegard von Bingen.

In God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine, the author weaves stories of her experiences caring for patients at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, the last almshouse in the country, with her studies of medieval medicine. In the process, Dr. Sweet comes to appreciate the importance of slow medicine and the efficiency of inefficiency.

For more information on One Community/One Book, contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at or 210-567-2406.