A Neurosurgeon Takes Her Skill to the Art Studio

A Painting & Conversation with Dr. Kathryn Ko

This is part of the Medical Humanities Series on Op-Med, which showcases creative work by our members. Do you have a poem, short story, creative nonfiction or visual art piece related to medicine that you’d like to share with the community? Send it to us here.

Painting by Dr. Ko

What inspired this piece?

This piece is inspired by a neurosurgical paper that I authored.

Why did you choose this form for this topic?

I am a multimedia artist including drawing, painting, assemblages, collage and video.

How long have you been doing this activity? How did you get into it? How does it relate to your medical practice?

I started to incorporate art into my neurosurgery practice slightly over 10 years ago. The majority of my art deals with medical themes.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your involvement in or views on creative arts and medicine?

I’m a staunch advocate for skill diversification to intertwine the arts and medicine. Both my art and medical career are better because of this interaction.

Dr. Kathryn Ko completed training at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and earned a Master’s of Fine Art in 2012. Her neurosurgery practice and art studio are located in New York City. She is Artist in Residence at the Living Museum and served as the inaugural Artist in Residence for the American Medical Women’s Association. Her drawings, paintings, cartoons and videos can be viewed on Instagram @doc_ambidexter

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