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Artist’s Statement: Krackow Suture

Tieman, Joshua

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doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318253dab3
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Art has always played an important part in my life. From the time I could grasp a crayon, I have loved drawing. At school it was my favorite way of passing the time, much to the chagrin of my teachers. As I have continued my education I have found that art is not only an excellent way of expressing myself but also has helped me tremendously with my education throughout medical school.

As with most medical students, my first day in the anatomy lab was an eye-opening experience. Quickly, however, as the initial shock wore off, I was struck by the amazing beauty that exists within the human body. Every muscle, bone, and ligament looked as though it had been carefully sculpted over time. Soon I found myself sketching my way through anatomy class. Every time we would move on to a new portion of the body, I would draw each aspect of it to gain a more detailed understanding of it as a whole. Later, as I moved on to the clinical rotations of medical school, I would sketch out the surgeries that we would perform that day. This became a simple, yet extremely effective study tool for me and prepared me to assist in those surgeries and answer any and all questions posed to me. The physical body and its intricacies have inspired me to become a surgeon. As I move forward in my career, I plan to continue my sketching to review relevant anatomy and to plan difficult cases.

The work on this month’s cover is very special to me because I made it for a friend in medical school. We were both involved in an orthopedic research project, and I wanted to do an illustration of one of the sutures we used on the model. The inherent beauty of the Krackow suture made it an easy choice for my illustration. The details of the bone and muscles make a striking contrast to the glistening metal of the fixated plate. The piece is done in simple black ink, as I thought it added depth to the natural lines within the muscle fibers, where color would simply wash out these delicate lines. I appreciate the opportunity to share this particular work with all the readers of Academic Medicine.

Krackow Suture
Krackow Suture:
Krackow Suture
© 2012 Association of American Medical Colleges