Off the Shelf

Off the Shelf is our section for creative works by medical students.

Kaitlyn Dykes Kaitlyn Dykes (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Sidney Kimmel Medical College Thomas Jefferson University


Kaitlyn Dykes is a 2nd year medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. She is actively involved with Physician Executive Leadership (PEL), a program dedicated to aiding students in becoming healthcare leaders of the future. She is also dedicated to clinical translational research. Her writing and art focuses on aspects of delivering patient-centered care, the experience of medical training, and helping fellow students develop into aware, compassionate physicians. She received her undergraduate degree in genetics, cell biology, and cell development, with a minor in art history in 2011 from the University of Minnesota.




Reflection Through Mask-Making

On a December night in a northern suburb of Chicago, the weather outside dipped into single digits with a sub-zero wind-chill. Safely situated indoors, a group of medical students wandered into a classroom where five tables were covered by plastic tarps with another laden with pipe cleaners, acrylic paint and brushes, and a stack of blank masks. Licking the emotional wounds left by a sleep-deprived exam week that ended only three days prior, the students eyed the art supplies. They were hopeful for a means for reconcile their psyche tattered by cold and a semester of school.

Please Not Me

“Please not me,” I pray earnestly. Not me. Not me. I don’t want to become the medical student-turned-resident-turned-physician who loses empathy. The one who loses compassion. The one who takes lives and near death experiences for granted, who quickly learns, as an ER attending once bluntly stated, that “everyone’s a liar.” Not me.

Anatomy as Art: Installation #20

At Albany Medical College, upon our orientation to gross anatomy, we are asked to draw our feelings on blank index cards prior to entering the cadaver laboratory. As we progress through the year, our sentiments regarding anatomy may remain the same, or may change, and these drawings allow us to look back at this milestone we crossed as budding medical students.

Anatomy as Art: Installation #19

At Albany Medical College, upon our orientation to gross anatomy, we are asked to draw our feelings on blank index cards prior to entering the cadaver laboratory. As we progress through the year, our sentiments regarding anatomy may remain the same, or may change, and these drawings allow us to look back at this milestone we crossed as budding medical students.

Rohit Mukherjee Rohit Mukherjee (5 Posts)

Writer-in-Training

Drexel University College of Medicine


Rohit is a second year medical student at Drexel University College of Medicine. He graduated from Georgetown University in 2012, and then went on to teach reading to elementary school students for two years. After teaching, he worked in health policy for a year, and then matriculated to medical school. Currently, he is pursuing an MD/MPH degree and hopes to work in community health and harm reduction. He is passionate about health equity, LGBTQ rights, and racial justice. By far, his greatest skill is reciting lines from Pixar’s Up.