Anesthesiologist finds comfort in bird photography

Anil Marian, MBBS, (right), and Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, Dean of the Carver College of Medicine, at the Examined Life Conference, October 2019

Anil Marian, MBBS, MD, FRCA, was thrilled when he learned that his stunning photos of birds in flight would be displayed at the University of Iowa's 13th annual Examined Life Conference. His photos, he says, mark the intersection of two arts: photography and anesthesia. And he finds his hobby "extremely refreshing and gratifying" as a method of self-care in his busy professional life.

"The similarities between the art of bird photography and the art of anesthesia are multiple," Marian says. "Both require an early start to the day - either before the birds rise, or to prepare a room and perform all the safety checks before surgery. Both require patience, knowledge, and understanding of your art and environment, with long periods of inactivity. But when there is action, it is quick and without much warning."

Both his profession and his hobby require instant switching of gears, he says: "After often hours of calm or stillness, you have a few moments of extreme activity requiring quick reflexes and concentration. You have to be fully prepared, whether it is treating sudden hemodynamic disturbance after hours of uneventful anesthesia, or framing the right picture of a bird suddenly flapping its wings in flight at a rapid shutter speed with continuous tracking and focusing." 

Date: 
Thursday, October 24, 2019