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Our Carefully Assembled Selves

Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.

This is part of the Medical Humanities series on Op-Med, which showcases creative work by Doximity members. Do you have a creative work related to your medical practice that you’d like to share? Send it to us here.

What was your inspiration? Did other creative works, if any, influence your creation of this piece?

For the majority of my first year of medical school, I struggled with figuring out how to be a normal person at the same time as becoming a doctor. I had this distorted idea that in order to be “successful,” I had to sacrifice almost everything that I enjoyed doing to make room for my career in medicine. This strategy worked until about halfway through the year when I realized there was no way I could continue unless I made a change.

My favorite music group is Above & Beyond, and I went to one of their concerts over break after finishing my first semester of med school. While I was there, it was the first time in a really, really long time that I started to feel more like myself again. Their music brought me a sense of realization, healing, and peace of mind that the two sides of myself, “medical student” Dahlia and “everything else” Dahlia, were not mutually exclusive. I began to connect to who I am with what I loved before medical school, reconciling the parts of myself that had been so opposed.

Patient care begins with self-care. In medicine we sacrifice an immeasurable amount to take care of others and to reach our goals. Learning to take care of myself while being a physician will continue to be a work in progress, but throughout the journey I want to hold onto the parts of me that make me feel like me.

Above & Beyond’s fourth studio album is titled "Common Ground." My artwork represents a coming-together of two different worlds in my life, medicine and music, designed in the style of their album art. Everyone heals and comes to terms with themselves in their own way. This was one of mine.

How long have you been creating art? What got you started?

As a child, before I wanted to be a doctor, I wanted to be an artist. I have always enjoyed creativity in many forms – music, photography, painting, drawing, decorating, and more. I feel as if you do it right, medicine can be art and art can be medicine.

Why did you choose this medium? What interests you about it?

I enjoy working with my hands and putting things together. This piece was made using plain paper, paint, a hole puncher, and glue. Each individual circle is a hole-punched piece of paper that has been carefully arranged and placed to create the overall image. Not only is it beautiful to step back and see the final product, but equally as brilliant is enjoying the step-by-step process of putting it all together. I feel as if I can say the same for my journey in medicine.

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

I hope that every physician finds it within themselves every now and then to take a step back from their daily routine to pause and reflect on their experiences in whatever medium they see fit.

Dahlia Kronfli is a rising fourth-year medical student with a love of many different fields of medicine and a great deal of indecision when to comes to picking just one specialty. Dahlia's interests include the medical humanities, preventative and longitudinal care, and the socioeconomic determinants of health. Outside of medicine, Dahlia enjoys running, photography, crafting, and being a DJ.

All opinions published on Op-Med are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of Doximity or its editors. Op-Med is a safe space for free expression and diverse perspectives. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email

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