Can you be a physician and an artist?
Updated: Dec 13, 2019
This question has been on my mind for a while and I haven’t been able to come up with a solid answer. Can you really be a physician and an artist?
From a very young age, I have been painting and drawing, I could spend endless time with my drawing pad and never be bored. I also was a very curious child fascinated by science with a need to understand how everything works. A desire to help others and to finally understand the science behind human life brought me to medical school. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Embracing my creativity while remaining scientific has been a challenge. These two interests have not always been in sync, I had to prioritize one. With time, I discovered how the two worlds come together. There is no boundary between art and science.
Albert Einstein once said “After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.” I couldn’t agree more. Finding the right balance between the right and left brain, staying logical while embracing your creativity, foster personal growth.
Many top medical schools around the country have added arts and humanities in their curricula. The idea was essentially to produce doctors who could think broadly, see the bigger picture, introduce fresh perspectives, innovate, connect science with the real world, and relate to people of all sorts. Any form of creativity allows you to challenge what you know, observe and critically think about what you see, and communicate effectively with those around you.
I think you can be a physician and an artist. The meditative focus of painting prepares me for the hectic pace of medical practice.