A question I often get is why do so many of my images have titles with medical references? Well, it all started out when I was 15 years old and conjugating verbs in French class....Je, Tu, Vous, Champagne too! Across the hall was the art class that was where I really wanted to be and I wanted desperately to drop French to join in on the fun the artists were having. My parents and teachers were having nothing to do with it after recently discovering I had a penchant for chemistry and physics after trying to hit the county courthouse with a rocket I built.
So, I was stuck in academia with a future in science. It was settled. I eventually earned a degree in Pharmacy, did a residency at the Mayo, then got a Master's degree in Pharmacy Administration (the pharmacy equivalent to an MBA). From there I spent my work career as a director of pharmacy, risk manager for medical misadventures (physician and hospital screwup control), director of outcomes research in the pharmaceutical industry, and head of pharmacoeconomics and pharmacotherapy (another big word for drug screwups) for a major US Health Insurer.
All of those experiences at a job level that put me in routine contact with CEOs and a variety of government officials has given me a good handle on how messed up, greedy, and corrupt our health care system is here in the United States...all in the name of maximizing return on shareholder value. I don't talk about it too much as I have observed so much sleezy activity first-hand that it makes the profession of Used Car Salesman feel like a very honorable profession.
But the reality is that a lot of those health career experiences haunt me to this day. Memorably, while director of covering up for physician and hospital screwups, I got a big award for covering up a major hospital safety failure. Then 3 months later, I was abruptly fired when I discovered a physician, through his sloppiness in treating heart disease, was euthanizing patients. The guy was the head of cardiology and hospital administration was having nothing to do with me getting between them and their biggest revenue producer.
The whole 30+ year experience still haunts me and to this day, I still wake up at night from dreams that I am permanently stuck in healthcare with no way out. But my art is helping resolve those nightmares. By naming my artworks after experiences of my first career, I find that they take up less and less space in my head. I'm sleeping a bit better because I can now give a name and face to the monsters which, in turn, diminishes their power over me.
The image associated with this story is A52.05 - the diagnosis for Tertiary Syphilis with neurological complications. I'll never forget having to deal with that guy.
Anyhow, all of this art therapy has given me an idea. In an ongoing effort to exorcize the demons, I am going to embark on a formal medical misadventures series. It will be a way of getting it out of my system without violating the several confidentiality agreements that I have to live with until death. So, as you see a lot of my work down the road with medical-themed titles, please know that in addition to bringing you some positive visual stimulus, it is helping me out too. I really appreciate everyones' support and hope that my art can continue to bring you enjoyment.