A lot of the times I found myself struggling to fuse two of my deepest passions: medicine and art. For a while, I thought these two fields had to be mutually exclusive. Maybe because our school curriculums are structured in a way where the two are never integrated.
I remember being forced to quit writing poems, drawing sketches of my favorite celebrities, and painting by mom because it would “interfere” with my goal of becoming a doctor.
Now, it may sound confusing… it may sound as though my mom forced me to follow this career path, if so, that is incredibly, unbelievably, atrociously wrong! My reasons for wanting to become a physician stemmed from within myself for several reasons. My mom just wanted me to achieve my goals and thought forcing me to stay focused was the best way to do so. I mean, can we blame her? When intelligence is based on 1 hour tests in schools.
For these reasons, I was muddled. I did not want to dismiss my passion for the arts, specifically poetry, writing short fiction, photography, and sketching, but it almost felt like I had to. So I did. For several years.
Only until I found myself suffering from clinical depression. I was a university student trying to stay composed, but was broken and empty inside. For several months, I lost myself in the cloudiness in my head and had no reason to live. Everyone deals with depression differently and my way was to isolate myself from everything.
However this isolation was what paved the path for me.
Sitting in my room, with the lights shut off and only my desk lamp flickering light, I picked up a pen and paper one day and started to write. I endlessly wrote and spilled my thoughts onthat piece of paper. When I was done, I noticed that I felt 100 times lighter and happier. I looked down at my paper and realized that I had written a poem. It was a poem about how I was feeling. In the corner, I had also drawn a sketch of a rose. I still don’t know what it meant but it was beautiful indeed.
And then it hit me. Art healed me. Art was my medicine. It was a way for me to escape reality. I was able to distract myself and enter a utopia by doing something that I love. I was able to translate my depression into poetic words and images. Art and medicine were indeed one.
That was the day I found the missing piece in my life. I felt complete. I was able to pursue two of my greatest passions and dedicated my time to each.
It is often forgotten, but we as humans are bonded by culture, by creativity, by art. Sometimes simple words, pictures, and stories hold so many emotions and memories that-that’s all we need to heal.
Science is an art, from the structures of molecules, to the colour of our blood. Patient- physician interactions are stories that is told by the patient and is read by the physician. It is everywhere.
I am so glad to have an epiphany that pursaded me to entertain both of my passions, as it will make a happy and great physician one day.
ART HEALED ME.