If Disney Were a Physician
I wanted to become an artist long before I wanted to become a doctor. While my classmates were going through the fireman, astronaut or paleontologist stage (okay, I also had an astronaut stage), I wanted to work for Disney and draw the next Lion King. During grade school, I drew charming versions of the classmates and teachers whose company I enjoyed and unflattering renditions of those I did not, which obviously drew mixed responses. Years later, I still find surprising parallels in how I approach art and patient care, both from a technical and philosophical standpoint. Like with medical records, I (begrudgingly) transitioned from paper to an electronic platform as my medium of choice. I had begun commission and publication work in college, and the ability to stratify a picture into layers, lay down large swathes of color with a single click, and having that all-important “Ctrl+Z” undo function was essential to getting projects done on time. I could pull up other artists’ work for inspiration/reference and organize them into logical, hierarchical databases instead of into boxes of papers. To my surprise, I didn’t enjoy commissioned work as much as I had thought, and found myself always looking for projects where I had the most artistic leeway. In a way, this is what drew me to medicine — while standard guidelines exist for treating most medical problems, the physician still needs to adjust his/her approach in accordance to the patient’s specific anatomy, disease course and history. Of course, I am still in the “learning fundamentals” stage with medicine, so I appreciate the creative outlet I have in art. While I do occasionally use my art to diagram and enhance my studying, I primary use art to poke fun at my classmates, professors, and the general medical school journey – the inspiration behind MD Comics. With sub-internships, residency applications, and the interview trail looming ahead, I can expect a trove of source material.
Here are some of my comics from medical school so far: