Cynthia - Einstein Medical School, Bronx, New York

The top of my mask represents a theory in sociology that many of us have encountered. In terms of scientific validity, I am not too sure how this theory holds up. Regardless, it stands out to me. The theory describes that the left side of the brain is responsible for analytical thinking – this would be useful when working though many scientific and procedural dilemmas. That’s why some of the mask looks like a computer chip. The right side of the brain, on the other hand, is responsible for more abstract thought; it is associated with creativity and openness to new ideas. The right side of my mask is more free flowing, colorful and does not have harsh borders.

As a physician, I will need to incorporate both ‘sides of my brain’ into my decision-making schema. Patients with medical problems are treated with evidence-based medications and procedures that have been thoroughly studied – physicians play an integral role in data collection and treatment administration, as well as data synthesis, drug discovery, and proper handling of information. However, patients need more than a person who instructs them what medication to take and when. They need a person who can think outside of the box, make connections about their health that others cannot make, and advocate for them when necessary.

Doctors are not trained to follow protocols. They need someone to always be on their side and find creative ways to help them get through difficult parts in their life. Integrating both ‘sides of the brain’ is important because it makes for a more whole person.
To further explain my mask, the colors on the top right half represent my nationality. I have always lived in New York City, but my parents were born in Romania. Romania is a country in Eastern Europe. The second half of the twentieth century was difficult for many countries in Eastern Europe for various reasons – my parents immigrated to the United States in the late 1980’s because of the unrest. Much of my family came over as well, so I was raised in a Romanian household. I speak the language; I eat the food; we keep the traditions and are proud to do so. The colors of the Romanian flag are blue, red and yellow which you can see painted on my mask.

The bottom of the mask represents some of my hobbies. I created a camera flash because I enjoy photography and documenting my memories. I used a thin gold metal wire to make the flash. I drew mountains and grass to show that I love traveling and try to travel whenever I have a gap in my schedule. During my most recent trip, I spent ten days hiking in the Peruvian Andes with a group of wonderful international folks. Traveling enriches the mind and is something that I will always value.