Celebrating the Humanities & Arts (ChArt)
The Humanities & Arts Journal Of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus 2017-2018
Celebrating the Humanities & Arts Volume 5 ÂŠCopyright, All Rights Reserved
Celebrating the Humanities & Arts is an interprofessional, peer-reviewed/juried journal devoted to sharing the insights and experiences of the Phoenix biomedical community (students, staff, faculty and patients) through original works of personal expression, including original art, essays, motion media, photography, poetry and prose. The journal is supported by: The Program for Narrative Medicine, Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism The University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix 435 N 5 St. Phoenix, Arizona 85004 th
Contact: PBC-Journal@email.arizona.edu Website: www.tinyurl.com/pbc-journal
ChArt (Celebrating the Humanities & Arts) The Journal of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus
CONTENTS 1. Forward, Jen Hartmark-Hill
2. Candy Paint Nature walk, Ellen Cyrier
3. The Heart of it All, Madalyn Nelson
4. In Our Hands, Madalyn Nelson
5. Blocked, Jen Hartmark-Hill
6. Unexpected Beauty, Adolpho Navarro
7. Beautiful Heartbreak, Jenna Del Balso
8. Vatican Ceiling, Kathleen Carlson
9. 83-Year-Old Caucasian Male, Tanner Ellsworth
10. Mumford & Aurelia, Cornel Popescu
11. Second Chance, Monica Chaung
12. Grand Canyon, Cornel Popescu
13. In My Eyes, Lisa Shah-Patel
14. Kaneko Head, Kathleen Carlson
15. An Illusion in the Wild, Jill Goldsmith
16. The Halloween Costume, Ashley Azizi Assadi
17. X-istential, Valerie Ngai
18. Lotus in Bloom, Monica Chaung
19. Hello, Maggie Xiong
20. Beaded Shawl, Susan Albadwi
21. Live Free and Sing, Anonymous
22. Masquerade, Anonymous
23. Love Wins, Anonymous
24. A Surgeon is Born, Alicia Taase
25. Chihuly Sculpture, Kathleen Carlson
26. An Introduction to Medicine, Mohammed Khan
27. The End of the Page, Mohammed Khan
28. Havanna one, Ellen Cyrier
29. Havanna two, Ellen Cyrier
30. Be the Light, Thomas L. Kelly
31. Tubs & Chickens, Cornel Popescu
32. The Perfect Patient Encounter, Kathleen Hanlon
33. Immersion, Narry Savage
Foreword Dear Phoenix Biomedical Community, Greetings! We are pleased to present our fifth annual humanities and arts journal. Our mission is to celebrate the diversity of perspectives, ideas and experiences of our campus with you and present both the familiar and extraordinary moments in human experiences. Representative pieces are drawn from the genres of prose, poetry, photography, painting and motion media. They showcase the many creative and artistic talents of our community. This print edition is a selection of editor favorites, carefully woven together for your enjoyment. We hope that you feel inspired by the unique perspectives of the authors and artists presented. May these works lead you to a renewed level of commitment to self-expression and artistic exploration, and may your own endeavors create harmony, balance and joy in your life. On behalf of the editorial board – enjoy! Kind regards, Jennifer R. Hartmark-Hill, MD, FAAFP Editor-in-Chief
Student Editors Tanner Ellington Sara Pousti Aishan Shi Resident Editor Herbert Rosenbaum
Faculty/Staff Editors Kathleen Carlson Jennifer Hartmark-Hill Tom Kelly Adolpho Navarro
Special Acknowledgements Dr. Jacqueline Chadwick – With appreciation for support for the founding of this journal Dr. David Beyda, Department of Bioethics & Medical Humanism Chair — With appreciation for ongoing support, and providing our publication a home Ellen Cyrier– Cover Art Dr. Cheryl O’Malley– Keynote speaker at our celebration gallery event
Corazón Del Desierto by Amber Perry
Title: Candy Paint Nature Walk (Recycled paper on canvas, acrylic) There’s a moment when you’re outside, on a hike, or a bike ride, when you suddenly realize you can hear only the wind blowing and the crunch of gravel beneath your feet. No airplanes, no cars whizzing by. The moment is calm and centering, but also exciting and energizing. Eventually though, the feeling passes as we begin to see signs of man, often a plastic water bottle on the trail, or garbage strewn to the side. This piece examines the intersection of man and nature. It is made out of recycled office materials, flour, water, and acrylic, and is modeled after a topographical map of Cave Creek Regional Park. It explores our relationship with the environment, and especially how we get entrenched in our daily lives and duties, while we’re really such a small piece of a bigger picture. _______________________________________________
ELLEN CYRIER is an Admissions Counselor at the University of Arizona. Before moving to the Grand Canyon state, Ellen obtained her undergraduate degree in Fine Art at The University of Iowa. Since graduation, she has continued her artistic efforts, creating her own art business and website, while also pursuing her interest in higher education. She loves working with students and helping them through their college journey. In the realm of art, Ellen enjoys exploring mediums from painting to photography, often with a particular focus on texture and light in each piece. When not clicking through her film camera, she can be found on the tennis court, or enjoying the beautiful Arizona weather.
Title: The Heart of it All I wrote this piece to reconcile my feelings and thoughts about choosing a specialty as I have moved through the first two years of medical school. Iâ€™m sharing with the hope that these thoughts may impact others (even if just one person) to think about their specialty of choice in a different way. I also write this with understanding that these thoughts will likely change as I move though clerkship experiences. _______________________________
MADALYN NELSON is a third-year medical student at The University of Arizona College of Medicine â€“ Phoenix. She is an Arizona native, and she graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio with a degree in biology. Madalyn has a passion for traveling and global health. She plans to go into family medicine.
My grandfather, a cardiothoracic surgeon, used to have a plastic model heart that sat on the desk in his home office. When I was a little girl I used to sit on his lap at his desk and flip open the little doors on the model that opened into the four chambers. I had a fascination with the “white strings” inside and the blue and red lines that ran along the outside of the heart. I wanted to know what everything did and why it was there. My grandpa used to explain these things as simply as possible to me – his curious first-born, six-year-old granddaughter. On the shelf in his home office, my grandpa also had a framed picture of himself in the operating room. The colors in the picture were washed out and the equipment in the operating room looked old compared to what I, an idealistic 6-year-old, imagined it would be. But to me, my grandpa looked like a super hero. He was right in the middle of the ten other people in the room, his arms and elbows were deep inside his trusting patient. He used to tell stories of his cases and he would express his deep love for his job. When I started high school I took an anatomy and physiology class. I learned that those “white strings” in the model heart were called chordae tendineae. I learned that the blue lines of the model were veins, draining the deoxygenated blood from the heart and that the red lines were coronary arteries bringing fresh, oxygenated blood to the always working heart muscle. The more I learned, the less the heart seemed to be an enchanting object. It made sense to me. It has an important job, just like the surgeons who fix them. In high school I learned that my grandpa was even more impressive than my 6-year-old self could have imagined. I discovered during one of his office cleaning projects that he had an anatomical drawing for every patient he ever operated on. The drawings generally had two hearts - one with the anatomy of the diseased heart and one that showed the intervention he was going to perform (grafts and valve replacements). My grandpa had at least forty, threeinch binders to hold the thousands and thousands of drawings for each and every one of his patients. In high school my grandpa’s love for medicine took hold of me and so did my realization that I had his artistic ability. My senior year of AP art I decided that my year long, themed project would be called “Diseases.” Each piece of art embodied a different medical condition, illness or disease. I had a piece on cancer and a piece on myopia and hyperopia, to name a couple. My favorite one, even to this day, is the one I did of my grandpa holding a heart. I even copied his notes and small drawings of the surgery onto the border of the piece. 9
I discovered my love for medicine through my grandfather. Medicine was enchanting to me at a young age and the patient care, management, and research enchant me still. My early exposure to cardiothoracic surgery led me to start medical school hoping to eventually match into surgery. But as I reflect on my discovery of medicine through my grandfather and my first two years of medical school, I realize how drastically my thoughts about what specialty I should choose and what it means to be a doctor have changed. I used to think that the only way I could be satisfied as a physician was to be a surgeon and hold someone’s heart in my hand. I thought that I needed to be elbows deep in someone’s chest to make a difference in their life. But now I realize that medicine is so much more than that. It truly is about holding the patient’s heart in your hand. Not literally (as undoubtedly awesome as it is), but figuratively. Holding a patient’s heart in your hands means listening to their fears and making them feel comfortable to share uncomfortable things with you. It means taking the time to sit with them through bad news and celebrate the good news. It means cheering them on when they take their medication every day for a month and helping them to find a solution when they don’t. Holding their heart means being there, no matter what specialty. As we move forward into our medical careers, let us not focus on the specialty that makes the most money or sounds the most prestigious. Let us follow our passion (be that surgery or primary care), listen to our values, and think about the countless patients who will rely on us. Because in the end we’re all just humans with living, beating hearts, looking for someone who cares enough to hold ours.
Title: In Our Hands Mixed media. Completed in 2010. Inspired by a photograph from my grandfather. His original hand-written surgical notes were used as border accents. _______________________________ MADALYN NELSON 11
By Jen Hartmark-Hill
This traditional Japanese style haiku is written in a three phrase five-seven-five syllable pattern, includes juxtaposed images and a seasonal reference, or â€œkigo.â€? I wrote the first version of this piece while my mom was in the cardiac catheter lab, as I struggled to makes sense of my competing thoughts and concerns as both a physician and a daughter. _______________________________________________ JEN HARTMARK-HILL is a Mayo Clinic-trained family medicine physician and alum of the UA College of Medicine. Her creative writing pieces have been published in Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine, Hermes and Crossroads. In her free-time she enjoys hiking with friends and spending quality time with her husband, two dogs, two cats, chickens and vegetable garden.
Stents run the gauntlet-Blood branching whispers, murmurs. Autumn fades crimson.
Title: Unexpected Beauty During a vacation stay at a hotel, I came across a collage of glass blown plates or flowers suspended from the ceiling. I stood under them and took this picture. Sometimes the unexpected situations in life lead to something beautiful and because you didnâ€™t see it coming, it can be even more spectacular. _______________________________________________ ADOLPHO NAVARRO From receiving positive recognition for his submissions to film/art festivals at an early age to animation or graphic work, Adolpho continues to keep himself busy refining his wide range craft of creativity using tools such as Photoshop, photography, filmmaking and drawing. Adolpho is an award winning filmmaker/artist that has been activity creating visual art for over 20 years.
Title: Beautiful Heartbreak ____________________________ JENNA DEL BALSO lives in Phoenix, AZ. For the past 5 years, she has worked in the field of higher education. Outside of work, she enjoys being a singer-songwriter, sketch artist, and more. Jenna is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree in Psychology from OCU, located in her home state of Ohio.
The melodies awaken a deep sadness within me, a beautiful pain. With each chord played, a new emotion comes to life and dances to it. A beautifully heartbreaking waltz. Their harmonies taking me to new worlds within myself. Each note carries a memory, a past. Beauty. Love. Pain. Heartache. I drift away on the melodies as they overtake me.
Title: Vatican Ceiling This is just one example of the beautiful ceilings in the Vatican museum. The lighting of the ceiling and the camera gives this particular ceiling a golden glow. _______________________________________________ KATHLEEN CARLSON is the Education and Associate Librarian for the UA College of Medicine Phoenix. Her interest in visual and written arts stems from her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Minnesota. Improving her camera eye when taking pictures is her ultimate goal.
Title: 83-Year-Old Caucasian Male The first-year anatomy course is a rite of passage in medicine. This course also signifies a turning point in empathy development, a shift away from the human toward the clinical. In this reflective writing piece, I evaluate the relationship I developed with my anatomy donor and the efforts I made to maintain empathy and respect the life of my donor. _______________________________
TANNER ELLSWORTH is a member of the Class of 2021. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in English and a minor in Japanese. He enjoys all things cello, movies that don't have happy endings, baking shows, filing taxes, and his wife and daughter.
The day we met, my eyes went first to the scars: a thin, white scar in the right lower quadrant; a long, red scar near the scapula; and a vertical, uneven keloid scar spanning nearly a foot across the umbilicus. My clinical mind delved into its limited depths – an obvious appendectomy, but the other two I cannot place. Further up, I noticed the outline of a pacemaker, and I imagined your charts. The barrel chest, extra weight, and advanced age clued me in to heart disease even before I saw the pacemaker. And of course, I was curious which types of cancer hid in the corners of your square torso. Our first meeting was clinical and detached. We had yet to shake hands or even look one another in the face. I saw your face a few weeks later. I was early to class, alone. By this point, I knew about your lung lobectomy and ascending colon resection. I knew about your huge heart, and my mind wandered, wondering if the anatomical size matched the metaphorical. My heart pounded faster as I unwrapped the covering to see a calm face, warmer than I predicted. My heart settled, and I felt that day that I knew you better. I thought of your face as we explored the muscles of the lower and upper extremities. I saw legs that once ran along a football field, legs that crossed through the same doorway day after day, legs that certainly stretched past the edge of the bed, like mine. I saw arms that held grandkids or threw them up high, arms that made oatmeal for breakfast on weekdays, arms that for decades felt strong enough for someone to cry into or hug. I realize now I assigned you a life you may have never lived. I imposed my ideals and edited the footage to make you relatable, knowable. For all I know, those legs spent most days propped on a La-ZBoy while shouting obscenities to a battered wife; those arms may have hit more than they hugged. To know you is impossible, so I only can wonder – and hope. Recently, we reached the head, and I continue to hope. I think again of your face as it starts to disappear. Suddenly, you are not sacred or respected; you are uncovered and demolished. All I can do is cling to my memory and focus on the brain on the table – and hope. I hope you hold regrets, just enough to encourage. I hope you have memories that are intentional, idealized. And though I will never truly know you, it has been a pleasure meeting you. 21
Title: Mumford & Aurelia This picture was one of the first pictures we took when our first born was brought home. Instantaneously, you could feel the bond between the animals and their new human. A year or so later, they are still inseparable. _______________________________________________
CORNEL POPESCU is originally from originally from Romania. He emigrated to the US as a political refugee in the 90s. He attended the U of A for undergraduate/graduate education and is currently a 1st year medical student.
Title: Second Chance This poem is dedicated to the millions of people who suffer from addiction in our country. After meeting people with similar life stories as a medical student, I faced the challenge of honing my clinical judgment without losing my compassion for them. I wrote these words as a reminder of the lives that we are a part of every single day and that we have the opportunity to be one of the first providers to not turn someone away. This piece is in honor of the patients who taught me to never forget that behind every disease, there is a person – someone’s daughter, sister or wife – whose voice needs to be heard. ____________________________ MONICA CHAUNG graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a minor in East Asian studies. She is currently a fourth year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and will be going into family medicine. Growing up, every nook and cranny of her room was filled with crayons, markers and Sharpie pens. She is now living her childhood dream of keeping her art and writing alive by using any excuse to pick up her sketchpad. She is inspired by the lives she meets every day, and uses her brush and pen to celebrate her patients’ stories. When she is not donning her white coat, she enjoys yoga, exploring new flavors of tea (green and Ceylon are her favorites) and daydreaming about her next piece.
I am more Than the words you use To define me. The anxiety that once Held me prisoner Every day of my life is now overshadowed by The little white pills They said would get me through My toughest days. One pill was no longer enough. Neither were two, Nor three. I am more than my addiction. More than my failures, What ifâ€™s, and should beâ€™s. My history, Uploaded into your records By the click of a checkbox Colors your vision of me, Tempting you to judge Before you listen. Your staff mocks me Behind closed doors, Sneaking glances, Making assumptions for my reason for Showing up today. 25
Frequent flyer, Manipulator, Weak. Words that teach Students to not trust Their patients Lest they repeat the same naĂŻve mistake. Hear me. See beyond my symptoms And repeated failures For the person that I am. Trust That I am here Because I need you To believe I deserve A second chance.
Title: Grand Canyon A breathtaking experience, hiking the Grand Canyon. Part of a family tradition, this never gets tiring. December-ish. _______________________________________________ CORNEL POPESCU is originally from originally from Romania. He emigrated to the US as a political refugee in the 90s. He attended the U of A for undergraduate/graduate education and is currently a 1st year medical student.
Title: In My Eyes This submission is based on my personal experiences of having to give â€œbadâ€? news to those who play such an important part in our lives. Each and every day we get so wrapped up in our day-to-day struggles, challenges, schedules, and desires that we sometimes lose sight of who we are and what we are doing. This piece was inspired by a staff member whom I have had the privilege to work with both as a friend and as my patient. Her positive outlook and smiling face through all of her challenges has truly allowed me to re-center myself in those moments of chaos which we all feel. ____________________________
DR. LISA SHAH-PATEL is a Career and Professional Advisor for the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix medical students. She works as an independent contractor reading screening and diagnostic mammograms, and performs ultrasound-guided procedures and stereotactic-guided biopsies. She completed a seven year combined Biomedical Sciences/Doctor of Medicine program at the UCLA School of Medicine where she received her MD degree and completed her fellowship in Breast Imaging at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, at the beach, skiing, and traveling.
I sat there after the text, What to do next? She was 70, and thought she was fine. Was it my job or was it crossing the line? I read her study and did her scan, Spoke to her without any ban. I told her my worries and my wishes, I could tell she would rather be doing the dishes. She was strong and was bold, Was determined to not be cold. She was going to fight, with all of her might Only to know what not was in sight. She said her daughters were there, She would not be bare. I could see the fright on her face But knew the changing story from case to case. I told her I would do her biopsy, And would stand by her side. But what now as the rolling of the tide. I told her the truth, as I could not lie. It will be hard but I will not let you die. More tests, and surgery Weeks flew by I waited to get the pathology results And oh my. My face smiled as I saw her come in Postop days and I knew it was a win. 31
Title: Kaneko Head This photograph is of one of the pieces by the Japanese American artist Jun Kaneko exhibit scattered around the Desert Botanical Garden. _______________________________________________ KATHLEEN CARLSON is the Education and Associate Librarian for the UA College of Medicine Phoenix. Her interest in visual and written arts stems from her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Minnesota. Improving her camera eye when taking pictures is her ultimate goal.
Title: An Illusion in the Wild At first glance, the photograph appears to depict one zebra with two heads. As is true in many areas, a closer look provides a new, perhaps more accurate, perspective. This photograph was taken at the Inverdoorn Game Reserve in South Africa during a two-week service trip to teach women in a township business and computer skills and financial literacy so that they could develop financial independence by starting their own small businesses and work in neighboring towns and cities. _______________________________________________ JILL GOLDSMITH After 25 years as a trial lawyer, defending national and international companies in courtrooms around the country, Jill repurposed her life and career by returning to ASU to earn a Master of Counseling degree. She combines her background, education, and experience to collaborate with leaders and teams in areas that include: strategic planning, communication effectiveness, organizational development and role clarity, time management strategies, conflict management, and leadership styles. Jill earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis and her Juris Doctorate and Master of Counseling degrees from Arizona State University.
Title: The Halloween Costume My first month of third year was rough having returned from an unplanned six-month break. I felt .
vulnerable and behind my incredible peers who had set exceeding standards for our class in my absence. During that fragile October, I let an attending’s criticism of my knowledge consume me, derailing any confidence I had in myself as a budding healthcare provider. That same month, I met a patient my age that went to the hospital for a cough, and left with a lymphoma diagnosis. We instantly connected, laughing, crying and eventually, shaking our fists into the abyss at the unfairness of life. Driving home that night, I realized the most important person in the hospital, my patient, didn’t care that I couldn’t rattle off the top of my head every cancer diagnosis on the differential. She cared that I took the time to listen to her fears, her hopes, and her dreams for the future. It dawned on me the clinical knowledge will come. In the mean time, if I can genuinely connect to my patients during a difficult time in their life, at the end of the day, that’s worth more than any grade. ____________________________ ASHLEY AZIZI ASSADI is an MS3 at the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix. She received a Masters of Public Health from the University of Arizona in 2017 focused in Public Health Practice and studied Physiology, Sociology and Persian as an undergraduate at the Tucson campus. She is interested in Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine. Outside of school she enjoys gardening, practicing and teaching yoga, learning how to cook with her boyfriend, and taking their basset hound, Oliver Twist Christmas Jr., on adventures.
“I think I’ll be a ‘lymphoma ninja’ for Halloween, I’m going to kick this cancer’s ass,” she laughs defiantly, mid-karate chop. I smile back at her, doing my best to hide my bewildered admiration of her resilience and sense of humor. We giggle like gossipy friends while we talk about what a lymphoma ninja would wear, forgetting if only for a moment the mass that inspired the outfit.
Title: X-istential X-istential is a series that originally started during my first year of PT school as an attempt to stay awake during lecture, apply anatomy in a real-world fashion, and gain understanding of how structure informs movement. The first picture, the ballerina, was inspired by how elegant and yet disproportionate art can be. The second, the hand heart, was inspired by all of the support that I received from both my family and friends during my first year of PT school. The third picture was inspired by my orthopedic rotation and depicts a mobilization called a lumbar PA (posterior to anterior) used to assess and gain motion in the lumbar spine. This picture features the hands of a therapist and the lumbar spine of a patient. My intent with these drawings was to personify the human skeleton, compared to the generic skeletons we are exposed to in textbooks. The anatomical position, while practical and universal, is rarely exhibited by those around us. People are always in motion and thus, our structures are always in motion. _______________________________________________
VALERIE NGAI is a 3rd-year Doctorate of Physical Therapy student. She enjoys both the visual arts and performing arts, but did not pursue them professionally because her parents warned her that making a career out of art would likely involve being hungry. When she is not studying or in the clinic, she enjoys creative writing, hiking, and spending quality time with her friends.
Title: Lotus in Bloom As a flower that blossoms in murky waters, the lotus has become a spiritual symbol for enlightenment. In my painting, I used the lotus to reflect the potential of finding positive attributes in areas and situations where we might not expect them. As the light falls around the lotus, it is illuminated in the dusk of day. The message behind this piece is that the things we long for that give our lives meaning – hope, fulfillment, connections – can be found in every moment of our lives if we choose to see them. _______________________________________________ MONICA CHAUNG graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Molecular and
Cellular Biology and a minor in East Asian studies. She is currently a fourth year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and will be going into family medicine. Growing up, every nook and cranny of her room was filled with crayons, markers and Sharpie pens. She is now living her childhood dream of keeping her art and writing alive by using any excuse to pick up her sketchpad. She is inspired by the lives she meets every day, and uses her brush and pen to celebrate her patients’ stories. When she is not donning her white coat, she enjoys yoga, exploring new flavors of tea (green and Ceylon are her favorites) and daydreaming about her next piece.
Medical students participate in a Gross Anatomy Laboratory as part of their first-year training towards becoming future physicians. Many view this as a “rite of passage,” as these willed-body donors are often our first and most intimate patients. In the beginning weeks of this course, I’d often looked into the white cotton-covered (to maintain respect) face of my donor and wondered who he was. In the concluding weeks of this course, I’d also begun to wonder who I had been before I met him. ___________________________ MAGGIE XIONG is a medical student in The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, Class of 2021. She often reads when she should be studying, bakes when she should be sleeping, and wanders when she should be.
Hello. Who was I? I didn’t comprehend whether I was anxious to meet you or meet parts of myself yet unknown. Who am I? Day 1: Who are you? I waited with bated breath as your blue door opened, as the white curtains over your eyes parted. Who were you? Day 4: I couldn’t help thinking that you must’ve had such a large heart to allow strangers so intimately into your resting place. And the thought was confirmed as I held your heavy chambers in my hand. Day 16: I thought how much strength it must’ve taken to bid your loved ones goodbye and travel into arms of the unknown. And the thought was reinforced as I witnessed your sinewy muscles that must have been so strong in years past.
Day 20: I felt how much warmth you mustâ€™ve given to the world to trust in the kindness of those you had never met. And the feeling intensified as I felt the strength of your grasp. Day 25: I believed how much good you trusted was in the world to give others the ability to see inside your thoughts and feelings. And the belief reverberated as I held the hemispheres of your being in my hands. Day 32: I trust in the kindness and knowledge youâ€™ve imparted to allow myself, a well-meaning stranger, to become a better version of myself. And these days will stay with me in the coming years as I pass on your strength and faith. It was so humbling to meet you: the intimate details of who you are, who you were, and the memories of you within who I am now.
Title: Beaded Shawl
This shawl was inspired by a friend who raffled of her black beaded shawl through a local yarn shop to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society. I didn’t win so I decided to do one of my own. This shawl was my first beaded project and the first time I knitted with black yarn. I learned to string beads with and without a cat’s help. I invested in an OTT light so I could see what I was doing and vowed that I would never again knit with black yarn. I’m still doing beaded projects on occasion though. ____________________________
SUSAN ALBADWI moved back to Arizona from Nevada in 2006, and employed at the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix for 11 years. She has been knitting for the last ten years, and also doing other types of “fiber arts.” Much of her travel is fiber arts related.
Photo Credit: Tabitha Mosier
Title: Live Free & Sing (Water Colors, Water Color Pencils) This piece symbolically represents freedom. A freedom to be me with no fear of hatred and pain. I am beautiful, I am loved, and I am FREE. _______________________________________________ ANONYMOUS 48
Titles: “Masquerade” and “Love Wins” (Charcoal Pencils, Colored Pencils, and Water Color Pencils) _______________________________________________ ANONYMOUS
Masquerade: This picture symbolically represents being a lesbian raised in a very, very Christian/Religious home and environment. At first glance you see a pretty cross, maybe it has some love or motivational quotes in it, but when you take a closer look, you see what is really hidden inside and behind the Cross, love, and religion. Hate masquerading as “love.”
Love Wins: This piece is the counterpart to Masquerade. It represents what my world would have been like growing up in a loving and accepting Christian environment. I re-created this space to be safe and welcoming.
Title: A Surgeon is Born On my path to discover what specialty I should choose I did a lot of reflecting on my clinical experiences. This poem is a product of that reflection and is a glimpse into my emotional journey and decision to become a surgeon.
_______________________________ ALICIA TAASE is a fourth year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix, and is pursuing a certificate of distinction in Global Health. She is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah where she obtained her B.A. in Biology from the University of Utah. She is interested in Surgery with a specific interest in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Global Health. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as singing and traveling the world.
Beep Beep Blares the 4:00am alarm Dragging out of bed, shaking off the sleep First day jitters, unsure of what the day will bring Horror stories of screaming and yelling and scalpels flying Worried of making a wrong move… touching something that shouldn’t be touched… contaminating a sterile field… Don’t say the wrong thing, don’t be a bad student Take a deep breath Mask on, eye protection too Clean each nail, scrub each finger Cold water flows fingers to elbows Toweling off… left hand first… then right… Gowning up, carefully gloving… right hand… then left… Now spin and tie Take your place, hands carefully placed on the table but out of the way “Time out” …now here we go… scalpel, first incision, straight line down the sternum bovi and suction all of a sudden the chest wide open there it lies… lub dub lub dub “Med student you’re up” Jerk to attention Questions start flying What structure is this? What rhythm is that? Why am I doing this? Why would I not do that? answers surfacing from the tiniest recesses deep in the brain Just keep breathing 51
Each question is answered And abruptly they stop Instead a command, put your hands here A flutter that moves very slowly at first Stronger and stronger with each and every beat Cradled in hands a rhythm begins... lub dub lub dub Life is returning… blood pumping through A feeling within never quite felt before Now quickly, hands back to work Needle driver and pick-ups Remember those knots Closing the skin with every flick of the wrist Faster… go faster… or soon they’ll wake up Finished and rolling the bed out the door “Congrats kid you did it” rings through the air An inextinguishable LIGHT is GLOWING within Later at home reflecting on the day Still feel the beating and hear that lub dub A smile starts to beam that will not go away Reading material that wasn’t clearly known Looking up papers and procedures reviewing anatomy Crawling into bed as sleep overcomes That light is still glowing and smile still there This is it… this is what I’ve been waiting to feel! Beep beep chimes the 4:00am alarm Jump out of bed, ready for the day Excitement, anticipation for what will be seen today Scrubbed and ready, suction in hand Up for the challenge and ready to work Long road ahead with large hills and wide valleys The calling is there; if you listen you’ll feel it 52
Title: Chihuly Sculpture This photograph is from a night at the Desert Botanical Garden and Las Noches de la Luminarias. At the entrance is the Chihuly cactus, which inspires a visitor with the lights of the holiday and the surrounding desert views. _______________________________________________
KATHLEEN CARLSON is the Education and Associate Librarian for the UA College of Medicine Phoenix. Her interest in visual and written arts stems from her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Minnesota. Improving her camera eye when taking pictures is her ultimate goal.
Title: “An Introduction to Medicine” & “The End of the Page” These pieces are meant to bookend the experience of meeting the anatomy donors. This is a profound experience, and it offers a rare and special look inside the beauty of life. We are given a gift to understand and behold the wonder and marks of life on the body, and to celebrate and honor the woman who willed her body to us for study, I can never say thank you enough. For her, I dedicate these pieces. _______________________________ MOHAMMED KHAN My name is Mohammad Khan, and I am a Scottsdale born and raised Arizonan! I am a first year medical student, with an interest in poetry and expression. I believe that the words we choose can bring meaning to those things we appreciate. I am interested in family medicine, pediatrics, and immunology and I want to serve as a teacher to the patients I will someday meet.
An Introduction to Medicine On Thursday, we met our donors. It seemed like any class, with the lecture and preamble beforehand. Yet, there was tension in the air. The new faces of the PA and PT students served to liven up the mood, yet there was still a palpable weight. We walked slowly to see our donors, and with every step, there seemed to be a speck of sand that fell from some hourglass. We donned our personal equipment and were given the opportunity to prepare. We were asked, “Do you want to see your donor?” We said “yes,” and the zippers came apart. In front of us she lay. A woman, our donor, whom we would be cutting and studying. This moment was the moment we truly understood the weight of being a medical student. Life is fragile and can be buffeted by the changes and trials of life. Its fragility is rooted in the thousands of miniscule decisions every day that can lead to the growing or end of life. Yet, life is also beautiful, and when allowed to foster and grow, with love it springs forth and becomes a miracle. It is the power of life to bring itself into being, to allow the spirit to grow, passing from person to person. Our donor is not just a cadaver or body to be cut; she is life. She had experiences, she had hopes, she had dreams, and she had a faith that her story will continue. For as we looked into her face, a final wish was made apparent, that in the swan song of her life, she will bring forth healing. She is more than our donor, for she is a teacher, and a model for what we must remember as the individual patient. Her final choice was to give her body in the name of our future. She placed her body and her wishes in all our hands, so we will sculpt this final wish into reality, and we will cultivate our own skills to change lives. With love and care, we will become gardeners, pruning and fostering seeds of the future. The power of medicine is that our time with those we care for is sacred, for it is the moment of vulnerability that makes souls human. Connection and touch carry forward the power and vitality of spirit, and with the lessons we learn from our teacher, we can cherish the moments and become caretakers for our community. Bidding goodbye as the zippers closed, the feelings around us had changed. We understood the impact of this gift, and we learned how much we needed to appreciate it. Chatting with the new students, a spirit of camaraderie began to fill the air, for we all stood in that same shining presence, that of our teacher. We were ready to listen. 57
The End of the Page Behold! For the power of the mind is increased by learning and reading For the page is a testament, memoriam of lessons and loves for all As we gaze unto pages and pages, we are receiving Those lessons, sprinkled, dropped as rain falls Waters of learning flow through as we study to heal But to meet you, for the first moment, made it real As we comb through pages, we devour stories and tales of the magnificence of being Days melt into nights, and we move forward, undaunted by our journey Walking, with our head bowed and our heart open, towards that mastery of healing Thus, with the end of every day, there comes our additions and stories changing Yet, entrusted by you, we are given the grace of reading a story on its final page We never met you, but as we spent time with you, pieces of your life were put on stage. Lives written in the past, souls the summation of days For unto you we read and see how a true fire will blaze Souls are built from infinite decisions in finite time While the weight of our learning can often feel like pantomime Walking with you, knowing your story, allows your spark to burn evermore For the flame of life ends not at death, but in the lessons from those who came before Our first patient, you were ever patient with us, as we listened Trying to write our own stories, earnestness in our eyes glistened Little lessons and secrets we uncover from your story To recite and excite us to celebrate human glory The book of life for any individual has a final page, its swan song But, with love in our hearts, we open it again for others to read along
Titles: “Havana one” and “Havana two” (Digital photography) Doorway (noun): 1. an opening into a building, room, etc. 2. means of access or escape: a doorway to freedom. Thresholds and openings are something we use everyday. They say a lot about how and where we live. In a broader sense, they can represent access and ability. I visited Cuba in the summer of 2017, and found so much amazing architecture, color and vibrancy in the city of Havana and it’s people. Symbolically, Cuba’s doorway to other countries, and their doorways in return, have been both open and shut in the last century. With new trade and travel laws, people on both sides are enthusiastic about new freedoms, economic growth, and the capability to explore different cultures. These photographs seek to portray both the aesthetic beauty of Havanan doors, as well as the more abstract concept of reaching for opportunity just outside the doorframe. _______________________________________________ ELLEN CYRIER is an Admissions Counselor at the University of Arizona. Before moving to the Grand Canyon state, Ellen obtained her undergraduate degree in Fine Art at The University of Iowa. Since graduation, she has continued her artistic efforts, creating her own art business and website, while also pursuing her interest in higher education. She loves working with students and helping them through their college journey. In the realm of art, Ellen enjoys exploring mediums from painting to photography, often with a particular focus on texture and light in each piece. When not clicking through her film camera, she can be found on the tennis court, or enjoying the beautiful Arizona weather.
Title: Be the Light As a new father, I wanted to give my son perspective on not only his exciting journey to come, but also to articulate just how much he means to us. This letter, I hope, serves that purpose, and it is something he can always look back on as he grows up. It is reminder that no matter what, I will be there for him. Whether it be in the moments he feels most vulnerable or perhaps would just simply like to talk about sports, I will answer that call. Most important, though, it is an expression of hope. We live in such a polarized world; negativity surrounds us. I do not ever want him to let the outside noise or his own personal struggles defeat him. I want him to embrace the emotional roller coaster that is life and always be in search of the lessons its peaks and valleys may hold. __________________________________________ THOMAS L. KELLY and his wife Jessica are the proud parents of a son—Liam, who was born in September 2017—as well as two crazy bulldogs—Yoda and Geno. He works as a web editor in the Department of Marketing and Communications at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Miami University and a master’s in education from Arizona State University. He has written three full-length novels. The first, Masterless Warrior, is available through all eBook formats. He is currently pitching his next novel, A Thief’s Bounty, to literary agents.
Liam, When you came into our lives, the meaning of my world evolved. My life had new purpose. That change, tumultuous as it was, could not have been any more joyous. There was something indescribable about holding you for that first time. I never thought I would have a son, yet there you were. Just as the moment I first held you in my arms, you need me now. You rely on me. Those days, though sizable and not in short supply, will not last forever, which is why I feel so thankful that you have come into our lives. It is also why I wanted to write you this. For much of our existence, we are the central character in an unpredictable narrative. Because, as odd as it may seem at times, life is in fact our own unique story—a Choose Your Own Adventure, where we are the lead. My story has shifted themes. I am no longer the hero, but rather the mentor. My purpose is to guide you along your quest. Not forcefully. After all, this is your story. What I do hope to provide is the sense that you can always come to me. Because there will be crossroads, hurdles and forks in the road. Choices will arise. Sometimes they will be simple; others they will not. This ride that you will go on can be equal parts thrilling, infuriating, frustrating, fulfilling and potentially fruitless. It will be filled with laughter, love, loss, pain, happiness, and even regret. These emotions—as well as the ups and the downs—are a certainty. Though you may prefer to avoid some of them, they will all be valuable. They will all carry their own lesson. Those lessons—the ones learned and the ones I hope to pass on—will shape who you become. They will be a part of who you are. I, myself, am still learning. Doing so is one of the great pleasures of life. There is always room to see, discover, and experience. There is nothing more enriching than tapping into a part of your brain that has yet to be exercised. I am also still making mistakes. Those happen. No one is perfect. That is an impossible thing to expect and an expectation I will never put on you. What I do hope is that you will never grow discouraged by the shortcomings. There is learning to be had in those, too. What you take from your failures often defines you most. Such hardships, as frustrating as they are, are part of everyone’s journey. Do not ever let them beat you. As you get older, there will be many conversations to come, so I leave you with this: There is a poignant beauty to the unspoiled mind; always remember to remain optimistic, no matter the circumstance life presents you and no matter the trajectory of the world around you. As Jor-El once said to the son he was not fortunate enough to see grow, “They are a good people, Kal-El, if they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way.” Be the light. Love always, Dad
Title: Tubs and Chickens Growing up on a farm. This is the actual tub that me, my brother and our cousins got our baths. Sometimes, the sun was strong enough to get us “lukewarm” water. Sometimes, it wasn’t, and a wood burning stove would do it. The tub is still there, a bit rusty, but reminding me everyday where I came from and where I am going. _______________________________________________
CORNEL POPESCU is originally from originally from Romania. He emigrated to the US as a political refugee in the 90s. He attended the U of A for undergraduate/graduate education and is currently a 1st year medical student.
Title: The Perfect Patient Encounter _______________________________________________
KATHLEEN HANLON grew up on Long Island, New York. She began writing personal narratives in high school. She attended Wellesley College, where she studied biology, and is currently pursuing an M.D. at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix.
Recipient of the Annual University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix First Year Medical Student Growth and Self-Reflection Writing Award 2017 _______________________________________________ During my first year of medical school, a family medicine doctor asked me to obtain a patient’s history and the basics of why she came to the office. How could we help her today? When did her symptoms start? How have they progressed? And so on. I was only a first year medical student, so I knew this was more of an exercise for my learning than critical care for the patient. The doctor would see the patient right after I did and make sure everything I reported checked out. Still, this doctor trusted me to see her real patients. I didn’t want to let her down especially considering how far I’d come. During my first few months of medical school, I felt more like a 5-year-old playing dress-up than an actual medical student. I saw what felt like a million standardized patients – actors specifically trained to portray patients and allow medical students to practice history taking, communication skills, and physical exam techniques. I felt both hollow and exhilarated, as all the hours of shadowing listed on my medical school application, all the Grey’s Anatomy episodes I’ve religiously watched over the years, and all the times I’ve been a patient myself, suddenly felt obsolete. I was no longer watching, I was doing. This was a whole new ball game. Madeline Albright once said that leadership “comes from realizing that the time has come to move beyond preparing to doing.” She didn’t mention anything about how ugly that transition could be. I couldn’t remember the last time I had ever felt so young or so lost or so unprepared. My cringe-worthy interactions with these standardized patients crushed me. For instance, one actor told me she was afraid she had breast cancer and I actually nervous-laughed. On another occasion, a standardized patient simply explained, “you just have no empathy.” It was sort of like everything I thought I knew was flipped upside down. I didn’t even recognize myself in those moments. But now, over halfway through my first year, medical school no longer felt so scary or foreign. Even things that were new and should have been at least a little nerve-racking left me un-phased—like doing my first gynecological exam or giving my first flu shot. Medical school is often compared to having a fire hose turned on you and expecting you to absorb all the water instead of developing aspiration pneumonia. It seems impossible, but eventually you just become so sopping wet you don’t even notice the hose is on you anymore. The cold clothes sticking to your skin? The shivering? Oh that’s just normal. The craziest thing about med school,
though, is that you don’t really want that hose to turn off. I logged into the Electronic Medical Record and took a quick look at the patient’s chart. Her vitals were recorded and everything looked healthy—perfect blood pressure, no temperature, normal respirations. The chief complaint was a refill of medications. Her last visit to the office was over a year ago and although I wondered if this should strike me as odd, the thought left my mind as quickly as it entered. Since it was just a medication refill, I imagined we’d have plenty of time for a little small talk and some laughs. I hoped I would impress her with my charm and wit so much that she’d spread the word of my goodness around the whole office. We would thoroughly go over what medications she took and which needed to be refilled. I’d ask if she had any new symptoms, but figured since it was a med refill, and the illness had clearly already been diagnosed, she was probably on the road to recovery. Maybe that’s why she hasn’t come in for a while — She’s just doing really well, I speculated. The bustling office, filled with fast talking doctors and clacking keyboards, awoke me from my day dream. A speed walking intern scribbled something in her pocket notebook as she brushed past me. In feigned haste to see my one patient for the afternoon, I adjusted my coat, confirmed the patient name, and strode to the exam room with my head held high. I entered to find a woman in her sixties sitting pleasantly with her hands delicately clasped on her lap and a small upwards curve in her lips. She wore a grey knitted sweater with the top button clasped that matched her grey eyes. They sparkled. Her naturally frizzy, silver streaked hair fell past her shoulders and framed her bright face. The overpowering smell of hand sanitizer filled the room as I dispensed a large glob into my hands and started my usual introduction. “Hello! My name is Kathleen Hanlon. I am a first year medical student. Is this Mrs. Cardillo?” This speech fell robotically out of my lips like it had so many times before. “Oh, why, yes.” She stammered. I noticed how she crinkled her eyes and smiled when she heard I was a medical student. Maybe she has a relative training to be a doctor, I wondered, feeling calmed by this possible connection. I smiled back and sat down in front of her. “Dr. Carla has asked me to come in to see you. How can we help you today?” My cheerful voice echoed through the silence that followed. A bus zoomed past outside. Conversations from the hall floated under the door and into the room. Even my breath sounded loud and obtrusive. I shifted in my seat. Mrs. Cardillo remained entirely still except for the slight smile in her lips. It began to quiver as if it 70
required all of her energy to keep it in place. Her face now looked grey and blank. Did she really look pleasant and happy when I first walked in? Stay calm I told myself as a feeling of uneasiness set in my stomach. I looked into Mrs. Cardillo’s eyes, hoping my face seemed supportive and kind rather than surprised and concerned. I was never good at hiding my emotions. Mrs. Cardillo broke the silence. Had it been seconds or minutes? “It’s just…” Her voice cracked. She paused again as she looked up at the plaster ceiling with sunken eyes. Tears stained her face. “I’m so sorry,” she gasped. “I told myself I wasn’t going to cry. I feel so stupid.” Her blood shot eyes crinkled again as she tried to smile more time, for my sake I supposed. I had never seen a patient cry before, however the tears, and the struggle to hold them back with a smile, were all too familiar to me. My heart sunk for her. The last time I couldn’t hold back tears was not long ago. It was also in an office and with a doctor. I also unsuccessfully tried to hold them back with a smile and laugh. “Why are you holding back your tears?” The doctor asked me. “You’re allowed to cry here. I see patients cry every day. It doesn’t bother me. It might even make you feel better.” Only a few minutes ago I wanted to laugh with Mrs. Cardillo. Now, looking at her glistening face, I wanted to cry with her. I wanted to mourn the pain she had been trying to hide and to defeat. The type of pain that brought uncontrollable tears with just the simple offering of help. It took all my strength to remain composed, to remain present, and to remain there for her. My day dream about the perfect patient encounter would have been nice if it played out, I admit. But I had to wonder, was that fantasy why I got into medicine—for platitudes and superficial small talk to boost my own ego? I took a deep breath to recollect myself and reset. “I’m so sorry,” She shook her head and wiped her eyes, “This is why I didn’t want to even come here. I can’t even keep it together.” She scoffed. I reached out for her hand. Calmly I looked into her eyes and said, “It’s okay, you’re allowed to cry here. I see patients cry every day. I don’t mind. It might even make you feel better.” She met my gaze and then closed her eyes. I squeezed her hand, “This is your space. I’m here for you.” The smile slowly dropped from her face. Mrs. Cardillo told me more and more about her story. I learned that both at home and at work she felt immense pressure to put on a happy face despite her internal suffering, as if her depression could be 71
infectious. She had an 8-year-old boy who played soccer and excelled at school. She cheered him on at all of his games. Co-workers told her she was the happiest person they knew. They would go to her with all of their problems and she made them feel better, something that exhausted her. Her husband, she said, didn’t understand her feelings so she hid them from him as well. She didn’t want to make him upset or make him feel like he did something wrong. I wondered if the happy face she put on was also to protect one person she didn't mention: herself. I left the exam room feeling disillusioned, scared, and confused, at the same time as feeling inspired, confident, and hopeful. I couldn’t imagine the pain Mrs. Cardillo must have been feeling but felt honored and relieved that she was willing to share her experience with me, just a first year medical student. Maybe it was my naiveté, but I believed deep in my heart I helped this patient. She cried and suffered in the presence of another human being, her pain finally acknowledged.
Title: Immersion This picture was taken on a walk in Knivsta, Sweden just north of Stockholm. It is an unstaged, spontaneous picture that truly captures the essence of this sweet child. Along a hike, she stops to admire and smell the fragrant flowers, assembling a small bouquet for herself, just as she does with the flowers of memories. She reaches out to not only see, hear, and smell all that is around her, but to also feel the wispy grass as she passes it by. She engages all of her senses and immerses herself in the beauty that surrounds her, and in the process reminds me to do the same. _______________________________________________
NARRY SAVAGE is a 4th year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix. She is a former electrical engineer, until her promotion to full-time domestic engineer, aka mother. Narry plans on specializing in pediatric or family medicine.
AUTHOR/ARTIST INDEX Albadwi, Susan
18, 32, 54
Cover Art, 6, 60
Del Balso, Jenna
22, 28, 66 76
Celebrating Humanities & Art is an interprofessional, peer-reviewed/juried journal devoted to sharing the insights and experiences of the Phoenix biomedical community (students, staff, faculty and patients) through original works of personal expression, including original art, essays, motion media, photography, poetry and prose.
The journal is supported by: The Program for Narrative Medicine, Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism The University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix 435 N 5 St. Phoenix, Arizona 85004 th
Contact: PBC-Journal@email.arizona.edu Website: phxbiomedhumanities.wordpress.com
Published on Mar 8, 2018
Published on Mar 8, 2018
The humanties & arts journal of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, published by the Program for Narrative Medicine & Medical Humanities, Dept. o...