Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Other Features: Teaching and Learning Moments

Sarcoma Ceiling: Artist’s Statement

Strickland, Rosalind

Author Information
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31818c8a13
  • Free

The painting featured on this month’s cover of Academic Medicine is by Alexandra Seibert, a student at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School, Broadview Heights, Ohio. Alexandra created this piece for “Cleveland Clinic eXpressions™: The Intersection of Art and Science,” which uses the arts to engage high school students in the world of scientific research. The program, developed by the Cleveland Clinic Office of Civic Education Initiatives, employs project-based, peer-to-peer learning, to enable art students to interpret research conducted by classmates who have graduated from Cleveland Clinic science internships. In addition to giving students a deeper, real-world understanding of art and science, the eXpressions program also promotes creativity, innovation, communication, and teamwork.


Alexandra Seibert’s Sarcoma Ceiling corresponds with a classmate’s research project entitled, “Effectiveness of psychosocial intervention in a medical oncology setting following initial cancer diagnosis.” Of her work, which was an eXpressions Red Ribbon Award recipient, Alexandra says,

I met a cancer patient in depression who experienced a feeling similar to drowning. The girl struggling to break through the surface of the water represents cancer patients fighting for their lives. The water, which should easily be broken through, represents the cancer cells because even though they are very small, they are powerful and can claim lives quickly. The darkness, representative of depression and cancer, is taking over her body. Her beauty and strength represent the death of a patient’s valued physical attributes during treatment, and also illustrate that outward appearances can show nothing of the problems within.

For more information about the eXpressions program, please visit (

Rosalind Strickland

© 2008 Association of American Medical Colleges