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Why Do Art Lovers Make Great Radiologists?

Kimberly MM Isakov didn’t always want to become a physician. During her formative years, she pursued chemistry, cinema studies, and engineering. Her interests led her to the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where her love of visual art propelled her to pivot her career toward medicine. This summer, she graduated from the Yale School of Medicine.

“My liberal arts education taught me that to tackle a problem, you must do it with broad expertise from multiple angles,” she told the Huffington Post. “So I knew I had to be adept in multiple facets of medicine to help patients.” During her radiology rotation, she became fascinated with the cinematic component of image interpretation, and similarities to the black and white films she had previously studied. “The radiologists also shared my love for engineering, and were excited to create new medical devices to improve patient care,” she said.

Isakov credits her liberal arts education to helping her develop a deeper appreciation for medical science. She also believes that nurturing interests outside of medicine has made her a more agile physician. During her rare days off at medical school, she would roam the galleries of the Museum of Modern Art, and study the photographs as a way to enhance her x-ray reading skills.

“I recommend that students explore broadly before narrowing their focus on one college major or career path,” she said. “Embrace not having a definitive plan, even when so many of your classmates seem to have everything figured out. By keeping an open mind, you are bound to find new areas that can excite you and lead to a new hobby or career.”

Isakov recently started her residency at a facility in New York. She plans to use her diverse skill set in her practice.

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