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blum - grief and gratitude 

Alan Blum

About the artist: 

Alan Blum is a Professor and Gerald Leon Wallace MD Endowed Chair in Family Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Tuscaloosa. A self-taught artist, he has published three books of his sketches and stories of patients, and his artworks have appeared in more than a dozen medical journals and textbooks. He is a frequent guest speaker at medical schools in courses in the humanities.

About the artwork:

"This sketch in ballpoint pen on the back of a prescription pad is of a woman I helped care for more than twenty-five years ago. During her first visit to the family-practice clinic, I had listened to her poignant history and had left the room to let her prepare for the physical examination. She was sad but composed. When I returned, however, she was quietly sobbing. 'Our son committed suicide three years ago,' she said. 'We had to file for bankruptcy. The only thing I'm really happy about is my husband stopped drinking and driving for a whole year.' "

Visuals editor:

Justin Sanders