2017: Our Year in Review
Dear readers of Doctors Who Create,
Another year has passed by quickly, and we’ve been excited to share new content and ideas from writers around the world with you in this past year. We remain ever-thankful to you for being a part of the Doctors Who Create community. We rely on your feedback—your emails, your tweets and facebook posts, your conversations—to improve each year. I started this organization in 2015 in reaction to a thought in the back of my mind that had grown too persistent to ignore—the fact that the medical training process and culture often seemed to promote conformity instead of creativity. I felt that we needed visible role models and conversations to change that. That sparked the Doctors Who Create website, and in 2016 we were able to grow into a larger team, and publish more varied and interesting content. In 2017, we have expanded that team (who you can read about on our About page), published more guest posts by contributing writers, and started more partnerships with organizations that share similar goals. We have also made an effort to promote our mission at medical conferences.
Here are the highlights of our past year:
- We formed new partnerships this year:
- With AMWA (The American Medical Women’s Association) to promote their White Coat Project to celebrate humanism in medical school.
- With the Gold Humanism Society to help each other promote content on social media
- With the Netter’s Symposium to promote their annual arts show, held at Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia in April.
- With our Profiles in Creativity editor Eugenia’s help, we partnered with Penn Med Magazine to publish some of our Profiles in Creativity articles in their print magazine and website: including our profile of neurosurgeon and beekeeper Dr. M. Sean Grady by writer Chieme Ohanele, and our interview with the medical student band Trisomy Rescue by our podcast host Katie Magoon.
- We published a number of creative #dailydose columns:
- On how to be smart about evaluating statistics of screening programs, by Nilan Schnure
- Comparing medical training abroad in Pakistan to the experience in America, by Hafsa Bhatty
- Ten limericks illustrating the top ten causes of death in the U.S., by Moses Murdock
- Poetry by Justin Grenet, Lizzie Tepler, David Chernobylsky, and Janie Cao
- Reflections on design, infrastructure, and health by anthropology MD-PhD student Alex Chen.
- A series on “The Doctor As Patient” by Dr. Erika Landau
- Reflections on profound conversations with patients by Dr. Jeffrey Millstein
- We showcased the artwork of intern Mike Natter, “Calloused Fingertips,” a self-portrait made entirely out of his used blood glucose test strips. The painting now hangs at the Juvenile Diabetes Clinic at the Diamond Health Care Center (Vancouver General Hospital).
"I have been interested in beekeeping for many years. I never pursued it until about four years ago, when my daughter said that it is time to start doing instead of just talking. So she got me Beekeeping for Dummies, and that’s what started it." Check out the latest interview with M. Sean Grady, MD, a beekeeper and a neurosurgeon, written by Chiemala Ohanele. Link in bio! #doctorswhocreate #neurosurgery #beekeeping #hobby #medicine #profilesincreativity #doctor #ecology #bees #balance #medicine
- We profiled many fascinating physicians this year:
- I spoke with Dr. Ben Schwartz, a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker and instructor in Columbia’s Narrative Medicine department
- Our writer Hafsa Bhatty profiled Dr. Leon Aussprung, a pediatrician turned lawyer who works in medical malpractice
- Writer Nat Sergay spoke with Dr. Nick Dawson, who works on human-centered design in healthcare
- I interviewed Dr. Hope Ferdowsian, human and animal rights activist
- We featured the work of Dr. Jeffrey Levine, who has used his photography skills to make compelling portraits of the elderly that have been featured on the covers of the journal The Gerontologist.
- Ryan Leone profiled Dr. Paul Kolker, cardiothoracic surgeon, lawyer, and artist
- I spoke with Dr. Louise Aronson, geriatrician and writer
- Our physician advisor Dr. Amy Waldner spoke with one of her role models, Dr. Dara Kass, who founded FeminEM, an organization to empower women in emergency medicine.
- We were featured in Penn Med Magazine in an article on creativity in medicine, including the work of DWC artist and medical student Lizz Card.
— Doctors Who Create (@doctorscreate) July 11, 2017
- I presented Doctors Who Create at the Hippocrates Poetry in Medicine symposium, a conference held this year at Harvard Medical School attended by physicians, poets, and poetry researchers from around the world. The symposium occurs annually and accepts poetry submissions here.
- DWC artist Lizz Card took home the first prize at the Frank H. Netter Symposium on Arts and Health this year for her painting “Mahosot Surgery I.” Check out some of her contributions on DWC, including her unique brainstem cross-section squish paintings here (maybe the most creative way to appreciate neuroanatomy!)
- We got an inside look at the Mütter Museum, founded in the mid-nineteenth century in Philadelphia and a hub for medical specimens, oddities, and art, when our staff writer Chieme Ohanele interviewed the museum educators about its role in educating the public on the intersection of art and medicine.
- I presented Doctors Who Create at the medical innovation conference Stanford MedX in September. The conference was a unique mix of patients, providers, and designers: you can read my take on it here.
— Doctors Who Create (@doctorscreate) September 16, 2017
- Our newest social media manager, psychiatry resident Jihan Ryu, has allowed us to expand our Instagram presence with the creation of quoteboxes highlighting the creative physicians we profile in our series “Profiles in Creativity.” Follow our Instagram account here to #getinspired !
With every post this year, I was inspired by the hard work that went behind it—from our daily dose editors Ekta and Chris, our Profiles in Creativity editors Eugenia and Esha, our arts editors Mike and Kathryn , our social media experts Ananya, Jihan, and Samantha, our writers, artists, podcast, and strategy team, our physician-advisor and my mentor Dr. Amy Waldner, and last but not least, our editor-in-chief Stephanie Woo, who spearheaded all of the work you see linked above with the help of our hardworking managing editor Lauren Kim. Every member of our team is passionate about our mission of promoting creativity in medicine, and carves out precious time to make it happen: I am so privileged to work in their company.
Thank you for joining us in celebrating all the creativity above this year. It’s tough making and keeping resolutions when the majority of our volunteer staff is immersed in medical training, but here are a few goals we have for 2018:
- Getting our podcast off the ground! (Interested in helping out? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any sound editing or podcasting skills, we would love your help).
- Starting a book review section for books by physicians.
- Partnering with more organizations that share our mission.
- Promoting our stories on other media outlets.
- Growing our social media presence
- Fundraising so that we can grow our staff, reach a larger audience, and hold events in the future.
- Planning a Doctors Who Create conference, hopefully featuring many of the creative physicians we’ve profiled for our Profiles in Creativity series
Want to help us with any of our goals? Please email me at email@example.com
Thanks for making it to the end of the year-in-review post! Tweet us (@doctorscreate) to let us know which piece of 2017 you enjoyed the most, and/or what DWC content you’d like to see in the new year!
Happy New Year!
Founder and President, Doctors Who Create