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Artist Spotlight

Every gift can become a curse.

Healthcare is no different.

The capacity to save lives also presents a capacity to take lives away.

What does it mean to face this responsibility?

Last Saturday, BRAIN members visited the Mütter Museum, a medical museum located in the Center City area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Exploring the unique collections, members were both intrigued and inspired by the showcases of medicine, some reflecting upon what it meant to be a physician.

One member, Honor's College student Ansley Kunnath, articulates her experience below.


An invasive procedure

past the teratomas and conjoined fetuses in jars

you walk up to a display case

one hundred skulls lined up and illuminated

like sneakers at a department store

like diamonds at a jeweler's

irreverently beautiful

a caption beneath each skull the only memory of the mind it once protected

to reduce an entire life

to a name, an occupation, an age, a cause of death

you cannot help but wonder what your caption would be

you look into one skull

I mean really look into it, like it belongs to a person not an idea

a deviated septum -

did he have trouble breathing?

did he snore?

did his siblings tease him about it?

you try to construct a body around the skull

but you realize that you cannot even imagine its skin

the bottle that once held someone's fantasies

has been recycled into a white canvas for your own fantasies

it's eerie

it's sad

it almost feels wrong to look at something so personal

yet so detached

but to be a doctor is to accept this pain and this beauty

it is to not look away

- Ansley Kunnath

An invasive procedure

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