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Francisco Marty, MD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases, fondly remembers the first camera he ever received – a childhood gift from his father. While Marty enjoyed experimenting with it for a short time, it wasn’t until he entered medical school that he returned to photography.

The reunion was practical at first. Looking to better understand the patient cases he was studying in school, Marty tried medical photography and soon accumulated a library of images. As time went on, he was drawn to photography as a creative outlet and began taking pictures of both urban and natural landscapes with a more artistic eye.

Standing in front of a sample of his photos exhibited at the Brigham’s 17th annual Medicine and the Muse event, which showcases artistic and musical talents of BWH faculty and trainees, Marty said he enjoys sharing his passion for photography with the Brigham community.

“In addition to helping me find a meaningful work-life balance, art is a very good way to communicate with colleagues, trainees and patients,” he said. “When my patients find out I do photography, it becomes a way to talk about something that’s different from their illness – it provides a common ground, solace and hope for so many of them.”

Co-hosted by the Department of Medicine and the Internal Medicine Residency Program, the annual event consists of a visual arts exhibition and live musical performances. A silent auction at the event also benefits a different nonprofit each year. Funds from this year’s event, held May 3 in Cabot Atrium, were gifted to Possible, an organization working to provide affordable, high-quality health care in rural Nepal.

Alexandrea Ramnarine, a technical research assistant in the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, shared a mixed-media exhibit that illustrated the intersection between science and art. A recent Boston College graduate who majored in biochemistry and minored in studio art, Ramnarine said her creative outlet has been rewarding in unexpected ways.

Cape Neddick Lighthouse in York, Maine; photograph by Francisco Marty. Click to view full size.

“When it comes to lab work, I’m a perfectionist. But with art, I don’t have to be that person,” she said. “I used to throw out so many pieces because they didn’t come out how I’d wanted them to. Eventually, I realized that art allows you to make mistakes, which has helped me grow up a lot from a mentality of only seeing one way to do something to seeing different paths.”

Daniel Kuritzkes, MD, chief of Infectious Diseases, opened the musical portion of the event with a moving piano performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 12 in A-flat major, Op. 26. Kuritzkes dedicated the piece, also known as Beethoven’s “Funeral March,” to a beloved colleague who recently passed away.

Before beginning a duet performance of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” senior BWH cardiologist Thomas Michel, MD, PhD, wrapped his arms around an accordion and asked attendees to imagine they were on the banks of the Seine River in Paris. He was joined on stage by resident Anastasia Vishnevetsky, MD, who played an accordion and sang the romantic ballad in French.

Also among the evening’s memorable moments was an original composition by resident Omar Bayomy, MD, who strummed the ukulele and sang a comical self-described “poetic rap” about Harry Potter and organic chemistry.

Siobhan Case, MD, a member of the Medicine and the Muse Committee, said she and other organizers were thrilled to see the creativity of attending physicians and trainees on display.

“This can take the form of ukulele raps about organic chemistry to photographs capturing Boston’s seasons to heartfelt remembrances for colleagues and patients,” said Case, a resident in the Harvard Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Boston Children’s Hospital Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Training Program. “It brings our community together while also benefiting a nonprofit organization chosen by the residents.”

One Response to “From Beethoven to Harry Potter, Art Inspires at ‘Medicine and the Muse’”

  1. Linda

    Stunning lighthouse photo! Exquisite colors. From a poet’s mind perhaps? Wasn’t aware that BWH had such artistically gifted doctors 👍


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