Woodcarving was actually something I started to decompress from the stresses of my previous work (college professor) and the “hurry up and wait” of the application process of applying to medical school. I still use it that way – when I need a break from studying, need to think, or just want to sit outside for a bit I’ll go grab my tools and whittle away. I think its important to have a hobby like this – it isn’t demanding by any means, and I can devote a few minutes to a few hours any given day to it. Its easy to pick up and easy to put back down, so it fits in with the demands of a medical student’s life pretty well.
“My project is exclusively made of stained plywood, glued on top of one another and then cut down into, and finally sanded to created the smooth valleys and plateaus. This really cut into the costs.
When I first started medical school, I found myself disappointed at the lack of creative outlets it offered me. We were constantly expected to absorb, absorb, absorb, and then regurgitate knowledge. We exclusively took in information, never creating anything for ourselves. I decided to find my outlet elsewhere, via smaller wood sculptures and projects.
Sculpting doesn’t apply directly to my future life as a physician, but instead balances it. In the world of medicine, I’m constantly compared and evaluated against a “standard” or a “correct answer” or even my fellow peers’ performance. In the world of sculpture it’s just whatever I want to do, complete freedom.”