medicine in the arts; COVID-19; COVID-19 pandemics; photography; nature; Marie Selby Gardens


Fine Arts | Medical Humanities | Photography


I started residency before the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when we were able to see our patient’s faces without masks, give reassuring smiles, and sit closely while discussing a difficult diagnosis. Little did I know that in 2019, the way we practice would change overnight, as an unprecedented virus took hold. We could no longer see our patients’ faces, reassuring smiles were hidden by masks, and close conversations were held at a distance. Our homes became our claustrophobic havens, and the hospitals were saturated with patients.

Driven by a deep-rooted need to assist others, we continued onward. As life shifted toward the new normal, I searched for my own semblance of normalcy, which I found at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, where there was beauty that still prevailed, while the world had been in quarantine. On my first visit, I was in awe of the three massive banyan trees adjacent to the main green. Their roots curved over the ground, then delved deeply into the earth. Their branches were so high that the upper leaves were not visible. Staring at the trees, I was reminded of medicine and the COVID-19 pandemic’s course. Medicine is a field that began long ago, with its initial roots grounded in the need for patient care. As the field grows and expands, so does the tree—branches off-shooting and new buds forming with each advancement that is spurred. While there may be storms, medicine remains grounded by its roots, while reaching and striving for more.

The photograph was taken at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, located in Sarasota, FL.