Artist: Julia McKillen, MD, Anesthesiologist
Anything can become art.
The story behind the cover art for Volume 7 of Physician Outlook Magazine created by Anesthesiologist Dr. Julia McKillen is almost as beautiful of the masterpieces she created.
“I picked up the propofol vial and looked at the cap: The blue top, just the color of my childrens’ eyes. But even that pleasant thought did not mitigate the pain that it took for the simple movement to remove the cap. I had just had carpal tunnel surgery and I assumed my biggest challenge would be masking.
It was such a shock to realize that the most challenging part of my day was popping off vial caps. I had always taken the caps for granted and all of a sudden the caps represented a challenge. It never occurred to me that I would have difficulty with them, but once it did I thought I was going to beat it.
I looked around the room, and, for once, took notice of all the vial caps. They seemed to form a mosaic of color. They were winning, but I wouldn’t let them.
I started collecting the caps, and at the end of the day, I would look down at my collection, and instead of focusing on the pain it represented, I focused on the beauty I could create.”--Dr. Julia McKillen
Her "Vial Cap Eye" was published in the Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiology in October of 2021.