One Community One Book 2016 Selection: 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 Sweet

The Briscoe Library in collaboration with the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics has chosen God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine as a 2016 One Community/One Book selection. The book’s author Victoria Sweet, MD, PhD will present the Ewing Halsell Distinguished Lecture on the evening of March 17, 2016 in the Holly Auditorium. A reception will be held at 5:30 pm with the author’s presentation at 6:00 pm and a book signing to follow at 7:00 pm.

Dr. Sweet 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 focuses 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.

The Briscoe Library will hold a kick-off event and workshop on February 2, 2016 at 12 Noon in the Howe Conference Room, Briscoe Library 5th floor, to support book discussion group leaders and to encourage conversation. This event is open to faculty, staff, and students of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, as well as members of the broader community, who are interested in planning a book discussion opportunity. Register Here. Book discussions will then be held throughout February and March, leading up to Dr. Sweet’s visit to campus on March 17, 2016.

For more information, please visit the One Community/One Book 2016: God’s Hotel website or contact Lisa Matye Finnie, Special Collections Librarian, at or 210-567-2406.

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