Medical Students Show Artistic Sides in Cancer Center Art Show

Posted in GUMC Stories

FEBRUARY 12, 2014 – Georgetown University medical students are showing off abilities that fall outside the scope of their educational careers. Thirteen students from Georgetown’s School of Medicine (new window) have contributed artwork to the annual Medical Student Art Show, on display throughout February at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (new window).

“With their intensely busy schedules, it is extraordinary and heartening that medical students find time to create,” says Nancy Morgan, director of the Arts and Humanities Program (new window) at Georgetown Lombardi. “If nothing else, the art show can remind them how art-making can be an enjoyable stress reliever and a way to maintain emotional balance.”

Using the Right Side of the Brain

For one student artist, painting is therapeutic—and offers a chance to take a break from studying.

“Being a medical student doesn’t leave you with a lot of free time,” says second-year student Shaila Patel. “Painting is something I want to do—no one can tell me what to put on the canvas—and I get to use the creative right side of my brain.”

One of her paintings that is featured in the show, “I Love San Francisco,” highlights two bridges: the Golden Gate Bridge, which represents growing up in the south San Francisco Bay Area, and the Key Bridge in Washington, representing her time at Georgetown.

“When I came up with the idea for the painting, I had recently walked the Golden Gate Bridge and I run across the Key Bridge all the time,” says Patel, who completed Georgetown’s Special Master’s Program in 2012 and plans to pursue a career in pediatric medicine.

Second-year medical student Charles Long also has a piece of art on display depicting memories from home. His scratchboard drawing “Coming Home” recalls how he used to feel arriving home after long swim practices in high school.

“I remember getting home and the only light in the neighborhood was from the moon and it was shining down on the cars in the driveway,” Long says. “It was peaceful to me to come home to that and finally getting rested up after a long day.”

Long, who comes from a family of doctors, hopes to have a career in surgery. He feels a connection between artistic and surgical prowess.

“I really enjoy doing procedural work and want to extend my artwork into surgery,” Long said. “I really like doing things with my hands and doing fine-detail work.”

By Sarah Reik
GUMC Communications