To Give Your Heart And Soul
Stacey Audrey Wildermuth (2021)
Physicians give their heart and soul to the practice of medicine. Caring for patients at their most vulnerable moments is a heavy responsibility and privilege that medical professionals must carry. With an estimate of 100 to 300 physicians in the United States dying each year from suicide and medical students facing higher rates of depression than the general population, it has become increasingly evident during the pandemic that serving others often comes at the cost of the mental and physical health of our health care workers. For Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students and physicians, the challenges of the pandemic have been compounded by the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and racial injustices. In the face of such turmoil, we have been required to be resilient, adapt and continue dedicating ourselves to academic pursuits. This piece hopes to call to attention the dedication that AAPI health professionals have made to healing our patients and community. At the same time, the piece aims to prompt viewers to reflect on how the medical system can be improved to better protect and care for our health care workers. Digital media was leveraged to mimic lines and a color palette reminiscent of woodblock prints. Magnolias, a flower historically used in traditional East Asian medicine, symbolizes wisdom, perseverance and strength. More than ever, health professionals must use these vital qualities to guide their patients and communities through the pandemic and its after-effects.