Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2011 - Volume 86 - Issue 9 > Artist's Statement: The Bridge
Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182263eb6
Other Features: Cover Art

Artist's Statement: The Bridge

Schechter, Joel PhD

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Author Information

Dr. Schechter is professor and assistant dean of medical student affairs, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; e-mail: schechte@usc.edu.

Helping to guide and advise medical students in achieving their goal of becoming physicians has been an important part of my personal and professional life. My position as a teacher in Cell and Neurobiology, and assistant dean of student affairs, has helped to make me acutely aware of the challenges faced by our medical students. Medical school is a rough road to travel, and students often need the bridging support of faculty and advisement programs to keep them on track.

In this mixed-media (oil pastel/colored pencil on charcoal paper) piece, the path that ascends from lower right to upper right suggests the journey through medical school, representing entry into medical school through that glorious day of graduation. The rocks and precipices along the way represent the often challenging and “rocky” road through medical school. Students have a difficult road to traverse from entry to graduation, but I hope that my role in student affairs helps to build a bridge of support. I hope that, in addition to being part of the planks of the bridge itself, I am also part of the guide ropes providing a steadying support to our students as they pass the rockiest parts of medical school and keeping them on the path to graduation. At the end of this path, graduation is certainly a glorious day for medical students and their loved ones, yet each year as I sit on stage at the Shrine Auditorium during commencement, I fight back tears of pride as I watch the students cross the stage, taking their final steps on the path through medical school.

Figure. The Bridge...
Figure. The Bridge...
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