Artist’s Statement: Zoom Medical School : Academic Medicine

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Artist’s Statement: Zoom Medical School

Makarewicz, Nathan1

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Academic Medicine 98(6):p 679, June 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000005199
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After 2 years of predominantly virtual medical school during the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel apprehensive about entering clinical rotations and translating my hands-off medical education into real-world patient care. Though terrifying, this transition to clinical work is at least accompanied by excitement over the prospect of trading recorded lectures full of cartoon diagrams for real experiences. The first half of medical school felt directionless and discouraging with endless hours alone in an on-campus dormitory, watching the product of my tuition money through a webcam.

My artwork Zoom Medical School, on the cover of this issue, reflects on the melancholic boredom that pervaded my experience, and the experiences of those around me, during the first half of medical school. Colorless, fractured, and stuffed into rectangular boxes, too small for comfort, the figure in this repeating linoleum print expresses the same tired resignation I felt. Though the medical student population was far from the hardest hit by the pandemic, for my cohort, it was a heavy weight on our collective morale.

With the demanding nature of the next stage of training and the burden posed by burnout under normal circumstances, I am especially concerned with the long-term consequences of the past 2 years. Looking forward, I am hopeful a return to in-person interactions will breathe some much-needed life and motivation into my class of aspiring physicians. Still, this transition will undoubtedly require exceptional fortitude and patience from us and those training us.

Zoom Medical School
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