Sonam Maghera, MD 2017
Reproduced here with permission from Arts in Medicine
Sonam Maghera, MD 2017
While medicine can often isolate those within it, it is important to step back and remember that we are never truly alone. We stand amongst friends, family, colleges with whom we can take that next step and venture into the unknown. It is this network of support and love that allows one to jump in with both feet on their path to discovering more about themselves and moving forward. We don’t make this journey alone, we walk side by side through the toughest times in the constant search for adventure in our professional and personal lives.
Sonam Maghera, MD 2017
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. Risk allows us to constantly push the boundaries of discovery. Many times we feel as if we are hanging on with every last bit of strength left within us. It is the perseverance in those moments that define us, when we are pushed past our limits to failure and continue to strive in spite of it. It is the chances that we take while at the edge that will exemplify our determination and bring not only ourselves, but our field, forward.
Alexandra Marie Ruhr, MD 2018
What inspires me most about art is that it is an opportunity for me to be completely myself. I am able to express how I feel, in a way that holds significance for me at a given point in time. It is an avenue for stress relief and self reflection. Each work is a unique reflection of a mixture of very personal experiences and feelings and states of mind, all interacting and coming into fruition in a way that has never emerged before. My art is special to me because it is a reflection of my self-discovery.
Ryan Le, MD 2018
Medicine is a field with constant innovations and discoveries made by continually thinking outside of the box. In this piece, the ceiling forms a box that represents the limits that may be imposed by an unwillingness to step outside of one’s comfort zone or by being closed-minded. The gap revealing the sky and the peak of the bridge illustrates how challenging yourself to stay open-minded as well as to think creatively, and “outside of the box”, can help you discover and soar to new heights.
Andrea Zumrova, MD 2017
Anspaseli Handipum (Unexpected Meeting)
Pen and crayon
I had the unexpected privilege to travel to Armenia this summer for a medical elective. The entire trip was a series of unexpected opportunities and discoveries that left a deep impression on me. The design of this piece is inspired by the Armenian Khachtk'ar or cross-stones that are unique to the region and are very intricately carved. Words written in Armenian signify some of the memories I have acquired from my trip. Pomegranates are Armenia's national fruit and their presence is a tribute to the people I met on my journey.
Thuy Linh Do, MD 2019
In the hottest summer month, I found myself hopping up and down between the old pavement and the crowded road to avoid parked vehicles, chairs and tables of Hanoi’s street food vendors.
These authentic, irresistible and sophisticated cuisines made my heart ache whenever I was away. Sweat ran down my temples, mixed with the dirt and the smoke released by the knitted traffic.
Yet, I felt delighted to reconnect with my culture, and to speak my mother tongue once again. My exhaustion was cleared away and I was recharged.
This experience reminded me of the value of one’s culture in the healing process. In the middle of a chaotic Hanoi, I discovered my inner peace.
Iuliia Povieriena, MD 2018
Chronic and life-limiting disease can be seen worldwide, just as the moon and the stars above. Like astronomers continuously explore the solar sphere, physicians strive to uncover the secrets of the diseases of mind and body.
A research clinician struggles to balance longevity (the sand clock) and quality of life (a butterfly with beautiful wings). He is about to make a discovery and is trying to find an equilibrium between those two.
Kayla Simms, MD2017, Founder of H.E.A.L
Art is both what ails and what heals me. I am torn, constantly, by a deep yearning to practice art, and soothed, simultaneously, by its indulgence. Medicine exists on the periphery of time. A practice defined by the 36 hour day, with a post-call gaze determined to absorb, regurgitate, and suppress the primitive desires to eat, to drink, to sleep. Art has become all that is still. It removes the pace predicated on Code Blues and early morning alarm clocks and cocoons me in both what is boundless and timeless. Like a turtle, taking a vulnerable pause of discovery at every hour, every minute, every second. To just be; and nothing more.
Acrylic on canvas.
This work originally appeared in UOttawa Med's 3rd Annual Art Show.
Reproduced here with permission from Arts in Medicine
Tharshika Thangarasa, MD 2019
Sometimes, we feel things that cannot be explained, let alone justified.
Sometimes, we choose to portray ourselves as vibrant, whimsical characters,
because that is the only way we know how to get by.
Sometimes, we get lost...
behind this colourful mask,
within this churning sea of inexplicable emotion.
Sometimes, we lose ourselves.
Sometimes, you have to get lost, before you can be discovered.
Laura Mary Zuccaro, MD2017
Medicine can be found in nature when looking with the right perspective. Often, the shapes and patterns found in nature intimately mimic those of the human body. In the first photo, the branching pattern of this tree resembles the exponential branching pattern of the respiratory bronchial tree. In the second photo, the tree poking above the canopy is reminiscent the pathsological collar button ulcer of the gastrointestinal tract. In the third photo, the exotic branching plant mirrors the intricate alveoli of the human lung. In these photos, discovering medicine in nature required an open mind and shift in perspective – sometimes by turning the camera upside down.
Allow us to present Marie-Claude Charland, our 2016 artist-in-residence, who will be offering a variety of art workshops at Roger-Guindon throughout the semester.
Come and discover for yourself the various roles of art in health, for both care givers and patients: as a tool for expression, replenishment, self-knowledge, diagnostic and even transformation!
You can meet Marie-Claude at the Arts in Medicine students’ Art Show “Discovery” in the Atrium of the Roger-Guindon Atrium, Wednesday, February 10, from 6 to 10 p.m.
A métisse artist of Mohawk, French and Scottish descent, Marie-Claude is a versatile artist who creates masks, large figurative sculptures, paintings and mixed-media installations. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria (B.C.), studies in art therapy, traditional Indigenous teachings and a rich background as facilitator, she pursues her artistic practice in Val-des-Monts (Outaouais, Quebec).
Marie-Claude has participated in several art exhibitions and her artwork is part of private and public collections in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.
Through art-making, Marie-Claude wishes to share her profound love for our Mother Earth, and explore the beautiful, ancient teachings that come from nature. She believes that nurturing a personal connexion with the natural world (including the miracle of human biology!) can help humans more fully connect with their own hearts and transform their vision of the world.
Nous vous présentons Marie-Claude Charland, notre artiste-en-résidence 2016, qui vous offrira des ateliers d’art variés au Pavillon Roger-Guindon tout au long du semestre.
Venez y découvrir les nombreux rôles de l’art dans la santé, tant pour les soignants que pour les patients : comme outil d’expression, de ressourcement, de connaissance de soi, de diagnostic et même de transformation!
Vous pouvez rencontrer Marie-Claude lors de l’exposition « Découverte » des étudiants d’Arts en médecine dans l’Atrium du Pavillon Roger-Guindon, le mercredi 10 février de 18 h à 22 h.
Artiste métisse de descendance Mohawk, française et écossaise, Marie-Claude Charland est une artiste polyvalente qui crée des masques, de grandes sculptures figuratives, des tableaux et des installations multimédias. Dotée d’un baccalauréat en Arts visuels de l’Université de Victoria (C.-B.), d’études en art-thérapie, d’enseignements autochtones traditionnels et d’un riche bagage comme animatrice-formatrice, elle poursuit sa pratique artistique à Val-des-Monts dans l’Outaouais.
Marie-Claude a participé à de nombreuses expositions d’art et ses œuvres font partie de collectons privées et publiques au Québec, en Ontario et en Colombie-Britannique.
Par le biais de l’art, Marie-Claude souhaite faire connaître son amour profond pour notre Mère Terre et explorer la beauté des anciens enseignements qui proviennent de la nature. Elle croît que le fait d’entretenir une relation personnelle avec le monde naturel (y compris le miracle de la biologie humaine!) peut aider les humains à se connecter pleinement à leur propre cœur et à transformer leur vision du monde.
As part of the Arts in Medicine Interest Group at the University of Ottawa Medicine, we would like to extend an invitation to attend our third annual Art Show.
The annual art show, hosted by Arts in Medicine, will take place on February 10th, 2016 at 6pm in the RGN Atrium. It is a large scale open event with entertainment and refreshments, and a showcase of all the talents we have at UOttawa. A booklet of submissions and artist statements will be distributed within the medical community, and winning submissions will receive prizes. The theme of the show is Discovery, with a link to medicine.
Nikhat, Aili, Melissa, & Tetyana
Arts in Medicine (2015-2016)
Johnathan Lincoln Lau, MD2019
Face Value is my memoir of a highly volatile point in my life. This poem is 15 haikus connected. The beginning encapsulates my feelings during my culture shock after moving to Toronto, Canada from Kingston, Jamaica circa 2011. More than that, it also embodies my age-old insecurity of having a lip mole (if you know me - you know), and if anybody would ever love me despite having something society deems abnormal right smack-dab in the centre of my face. It's just that, I've realized my insecurities seem so damn stupid compared to the bigger things in life: for one, it ends. Nevertheless, that still lingers with you, as a human, innuh?
The 5th stanza onwards is the story of how I met the love of my life. In finding her I underwent a whirlwind of self-discovery. An infinite pool of love you never knew you had inside you. In this piece, I have tried to symbolize this love as a promise: to shed this carapace of self-limiting struggle in order to grow and love more. I did not write this poem in medical school, but these feelings have definitely carried onto my interactions with people, especially patients: come as you are and I'll do my best to take care of you -- human to human.
My character’s own
identity placed on face
Struggling with others.
Their eyes don’t meet mine.
Am I defined by my flaw,
as ancient worn art?
Like boulders in streams,
resisting torrents a flow,
I, too, must endure.
A truth for all things:
Soon I will be washed away...
crashing waves erode.
Night with scarce starlight;
Black like a charcoal’s shadow;
standing on lush grass,
Gazing upon sky,
I cast my hope, doubt, and love-
echoed in Earth’s throat.
… and it echoed back.
Given to me was beauty,
which made me let go.
Gift of a lifetime;
something not to be squandered-
Only a fool would.
Brown eyes meet, souls dance,
hearts drumming in the moment.
Lightning when we touch.
She is the breeze that
blows away dead leaves in Fall
to allow for Spring.
Leaves rustled by wind
don’t know where they are going,
only that change comes.
Worries wrinkling face,
like fissures caused by earthquakes,
she noticed, asked “why?”
Trembling from within,
facade aside, I convey
She whispers in ear,
giving me love endlessly,
“Your lips are now mine.”
The boulder now sees
green moss growing in the cracks.
The stream is at peace.
Georges Gharib, MD 2019
Dr. David Grynspan, MD, FRCPC
Pockets full of nettles apples
In our belly and
Sweet stevia acrid on our tongues
We made our way from
Treehouse lotus of flags and foliage
Handsfull of eggplants harvested
Among kale and yams of
Flower lined courtyards
We ran through winded tunnels
Of breakers and
On the way to the ferry
Two white haired ladies panned
In the community cart -
Your hemp coat and green fluorescent hat
Burgundy fingerless gloves and
Legs and feet
Just made for running.
Usman Khan, MD2019
For me, photography started out a bit unusually. It was a couple of years ago when I was walking the streets of New York and I saw an avid photographer taking pictures very carefully of what seemed to me, random streets and buildings. But for some reason, I wanted to see what he saw. I thought maybe looking through a camera lens would change my perspective. And for me that was it. I felt the world around me come to life. The world had physically changed. Over the past few years, photography has helped me to see. It has allowed me to appreciate the complexities and the intricate details of life. For me, taking a photograph has become an intimate experience, just like a conversation with a patient. Most patient interactions involve the use of all of our senses, including sight. I believe paying attention to the patient’s body language, facial expressions, and environment can help to understand their emotions. And as one becomes aware of such subtleties, it can allow for empathetic and sensitive responses. I also think that careful observation can ultimately manifest into holistic medical care as one starts to understand at a deeper level. I believe photography still has many more lessons to teach me that are relevant to medicine. For now though, I try my best to listen with my eyes as well.
Melissa Pasqua, MD2016
Though medical professionals see patients from different walks of life, we sometimes forget what it is like to be a patient. As someone who has type 1 diabetes and whose interests in diabetes care introduced me to medicine, it is a topic harder for me to escape. During clerkship, I found myself at a position where I became the person I was used to seeing on the other side of the physician’s desk. This poem encompasses my thoughts during that experience.
My practice has become the confession booth
where I invite smiling faces into my confined quarters,
let them sit down and get comfortable
before I ask for the numbers.
13.1, 5.2, 12.2, 18.3 -
Why is there 18.3?
As the interview progresses,
the smiling face grows tight-lipped
as I watch the soul −
whose struggles are my struggles, my triumphs their own −
lose the light in their eyes
and gain excuses instead.
I’m sorry, I’m sorry
Next time, I swear
Just this once, you see
I read from the last report that this one time has occurred 5 times in a row
and I bite my tongue before I say,
You lose your leg only once too
as they reveal to me their already tingling feet,
the wires fraying at the ends.
They find the problem hard to see,
perhaps it has something to do with
the spots the eye doctor found back there.
I attempt to help but the words that escape
have sharp edges and a subtle aroma of disappointment.
It’s highly recommended
parts from my lips but
Not good enough
taints my ears.
settle around my neck instead,
that I’ve become the tsk-er, not the fixer,
the enemy, not the ally,
and though they thank me as they leave,
I note the subtle sigh.
I ask them to do their homework before they leave,
like a priest who sends a parishioner onto their rosary,
but the priest perhaps feels he has saved his parishioner
more than I feel that I have saved my patient in that room.
Sins can be washed away more easily than atherosclerosis, I assume.
I look at the calendar and note that in one month, the tables will be turned,
where I will be giving my own numbers to someone as green-eared as me,
and despite the two of us having climbed the same mountains,
I will always have the extra baggage to carry
and I will still hear the same answer:
Not good enough.
I will work harder than my comrade,
the journey more rough,
but I will still remain farther down the mountain as my body disintegrates.
Are these patients my mirrors?
Will I be the 60 year old forgetting her papers,
telling the medical student that I'm blind in one eye,
with a silent heart attack a year ago and am now on a water pill,
a small dose because my kidney doctor is already talking about dialysis?
Will I callous my fingers with holes just to find holes in my feet nonetheless?
Will the research on good control go deaf to my body, as it fails nonetheless?
I put those thoughts away in my pockets,
where I keep my glucose tablets,
and hand back the logbook.
I scribble down a note, fight a smile, as I wish them a nice day.
Kimberly Reiter, MD2016
I am able to capture perspectives others may have not imagined before. Using photography as a creative outlet not only allows me to be expressive, but it also strengthens my view of the world we know. Through visual arts, such as photography, I am able to gain greater insight into my surroundings; I am able to have a sharper eye when viewing what is around me and in front of me. The art in medicine hinges on these principles; being able to look at clinical scenario with a unique perspective is what enhances the patient experience. Photography has shaped my clinical growth and has broadened my point of view.
Raphaël Nahar Rivière, MD2019
I wanted to submit a painting I did a few years back which won 2nd place at a global art competition about intercultural learning and global partnerships. It's called 'World Friendship Bridge'. When I created it, it was meant to emphasize the need on international cooperation and collaboration to achieve peace. And that one day, with the development of technology, we would have some sort of physical infrastructure in place that would connect all places and peoples. That idea was brought out by the bridge in the picture that took the shape of a peace symbol. The same philosophy is applicable to health and is the basis I believe, of much of global health: to reduce inequities and foster international partnerships around the world and create a healthier, more peaceful world.
Thuy Linh Do, MD 2019
Ingredients: passion, positive attitude, patience, care, failures, love
Equipment: a positive attitude, confidence and an open heart