Dance and Doctoring
I’m Chris, a second year medical student about to enter into the wards. Going into college, I would never have guessed that I would end up in a dance group within the first few weeks of class. Learning to dance, choreograph, and perform contemporary and hip-hop dance became one of my main extracurricular pursuits, through student groups and formal class. As medical school applications season began and college ended, it struck me that some parts of my life – research, community engagement, mentorship – could be easily woven into the story of a doctor-in-training. Other important interests and values, including dance, seemed to fit a little less naturally. I’m a strong believer that not everything a physician or a physician-in-training does has to “fit” under the umbrella of medicine, and I hope these other interests and values contribute to a richer inner life and character that are ultimately part of what we offer to patients. Even more so now, as I make the major transition into the clinics, I’ve been wondering whether and how I’ll be able to continue with dance.
Last year, my class was required to complete a capstone assignment for our Doctoring course focused on the patient-provider relationship. I took this as an opportunity to reflect on how dance might impact me as a future physician. In the video, you’ll see a short piece I choreographed for the assignment and hear a few of my thoughts.