IRIS ​is UNC School of Medicine’s Arts and Literary Journal. Submissions from students, faculty, and staff include works of photography, writing, music, video and other forms of creative expression


The ordinary form of spoken or written language, without metrical structure

Visual Art

The arts created primarily for visual perception, such as as drawing, photography, and painting


The art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken


The use of a variety of artistic or communicative media, such as audio, animations, and video

Letter from the Editor: The Art of Medicine

Medicine is an art and science. Google this statement and you’ll find approximately 166 million search results. The top result is a paper by physician Sadhu Charan Panda, who describes a symbiotic relationship. “To be a good medical practitioner,” he writes, “one has to become a good artist with sufficient scientific knowledge.”

As a student, it can be easy to spend a disproportionate amount of time memorizing the science behind the practice. It’s understandable, given the colossal amount of information, limited time, and seemingly endless exams. In the mean time, what’s neglected, at least initially, is a focus on the person behind the disease.

The true test of a medical professional can’t be placed on a 100-point grading scale. It’s measured when someone needs a hand to hold or a story to share. This is where compassionate communication, introspection, and the art of medicine come in. As Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, once said, “Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity.”

IRIS is a creative arts journal run by UNC School of Medicine students. We express ourselves through prose, poetry, painting, music, photography, and other mediums as we learn and provide healing. We hope you enjoy this year’s collection of reflections and find that sometimes the best antidote is through another’s anecdote.

Minali Nigam
IRIS Head Editor
Fall 2016