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The art of medicine

When medical student Sarah Nersesian needs a break from studying, she goes to work.

“For me, being productive and doing things that make me happy are my form of self-care. I don’t need to take breaks from my life, rather the things that fill my life are like breaks,” she says, as she talks about her three main passions: research, art and helping others.

First, there’s the art business she runs. While she earned a master’s degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology before enrolling in Medicine, art never left her. She started Designs that Cell to help scientists convey their research with scientific figures and illustrations for research articles and publications, grants, information sheets and online courses.

Nersesian is also involved with the Indigo Girls Group, an organization she helped found that now has five locations across Ontario. The group focuses on workshops, speaker visits and conferences on issues related to young women, including empowerment, leadership and women in science.

As well, she’s a Dalhousie Research in Medicine program representative, involved in fostering interest in research among medical students. Along with a full course load, it’s a lot to juggle, and Nersesian is aware she needs to watch out for burnout. Fortunately, she has a solid group of friends and colleagues she can rely on, and says she’s been pleasantly surprised by the amount of camaraderie she’s encountered so far from her fellow medical students. “Everyone is very caring.”