Energizing through Art

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Acrylic paints and black ink pen on regular photocopy paper. I paint directly on the actual photocopies, so all the original EKG lines are preserved.

As emergency physicians, every day we are faced with the unique opportunity to be intimately part of our patients’ lives for a brief snapshot in time. And as much as we want to see our patients as the multidimensional and complex people they are, the limitations of time and resources leave us with no choice but to simplify our encounter into a digestible case with a clear H&P, differential, and plan. Each patient is a story we may never unravel, encompassing hopes, dreams, passions, cherished memories, regrets, and much more.

We often forget that, just like our patients, we are not one-dimensional diagnosticians. Residency is demanding and draining. Sometimes it feels im­possible that I will ever learn everything I need to know. Now, halfway through my intern year, I find that the same things that make me a more effective and happier person also make me a more effective and happier resident. Taking even just a few minutes each day to do something that energizes my spirit has made the insurmountable task of residency suddenly appear manageable. These paintings remind me that each EKG is only a glimpse of a person with a unique story to tell. Behind each routine patient encounter lies mystery and depth that I am only cracking the surface of when I walk into my emergency department shift.

These are acrylic paints and black ink pen on regular photocopy paper. I paint directly on the actual photocopies, so all the original EKG lines are preserved (though sometimes accentuated with black ink pen). I use very tiny brushes and a very-fine-tip waterproof pen.  I always have a vague idea in mind of what I want to portray in the picture (mainly color scheme and general landscape), though it usually comes out completely different than I expect. I don’t have any kind of strict formula or routine. That keeps the process fun and leaves room for flexibility and surprise.

Grassy Hills

Grassy Hills

The Sea

The Sea

Desert Night

Desert Night

Mountain Tops

Mountain Tops

Snowy Day

Snowy Day

Lindsey Ball, MD

Lindsey Ball, MD

Resident Physician, York Hospital, York, PA
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