Deconstructing Surgery Through Drawings and the Arts

As surgical education changes, new instructive needs arise to complement the hands-on manual and visuospatial skills necessary in the operating room and adjusting to new technologies and surgical robotics. Dr. Ara Chalian and artist Caryn Babaian have merged surgical education in the genre of comic books and graphic novels to address visuospatial skills, motor skills and the narrative, humanistic component of patient care, for a well-rounded surgical education. Their experimental comic book, The Story of Thyroidectomy informs surgical education by incorporating emotion, self-reflection and esthetic experience, to train medical students and future surgeons. Also speaking on plastic surgery, aesthetics, and becoming a physician from an Armenian-American perspective is Dr. Mark Markarian. Dr. Ara S. Chalian is Associate Professor of Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, and a specialist in surgical oncology and in reconstructive and facial surgery. He is Visiting Faculty at the American University of Armenia.

Caryn Babaian, M.S., M.ed. is a biology educator and scientific artist. She has received many awards, has appeared on the PBS Nova program, The Secret Life of Scientists, and teaches the integration of fine art and the biological sciences.

Dr. Mark Markarian is a Harvard-trained Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon. He regularly contributes to the journals of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Clinics in Plastic Surgery and Annals of Plastic Surgery.