Elizaveta Efuni is a SUNY Downstate third-year medical student, with plans to go into internal medicine and a special interest in neurology. She’s also an artist, poet and president of Brooklyn Stories, an annual collection of visual art and writing by the Downstate community.
Downstate medical alumni donated $6,000 this year to give students and staff the creative avenue for expression. Submissions are accepted from students, faculty and staff until Dec. 30, and published in April or May.
The arts and sciences dovetail naturally, Elizaveta said.
“Many physicians are also writers because they see so much life and death,” Elizaveta said, noting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Anton Chekhov, two famed doctor-authors.
People tell doctors their stories, she said. Doctors are eyewitnesses to life and death, and art offers an opportunity to respond, reflect and learn. Literature is full of psychology, history and philosophy. Paintings and visual art offer glimpses into how a disease or injury affected daily life – and how disease was perceived – throughout history.
A love of medicine and painting, writing and poetry inspired Elizaveta to volunteer with the journal three years ago. Now, in addition to her medical education, she’s responsible for club promotion, funding and operation. She oversees editing, design and distribution involving 40 Downstate volunteers.
“Art is a wonderful outlet for reflection,” Elizaveta said.
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