Body parts

Med student finds fragments of anatomy everywhere

Sherrie Neustein, M05, has always had an abiding interest in art. Before coming to medical school, she had done oil and acrylic painting and lots of drawing. “As a kid, I wanted to be a fashion designer when I grew up,” she reports.

Although her career path of late tilts toward pediatrics more than slinky gowns on a runway, her eyes are still alert to the sinuous line and what it might evoke. Touring her Cambridge neighborhood after the first year of medical school, she suddenly began to spy fragments of human anatomy everywhere—lurking amid cross-hatched branches or hidden in a stack of children’s pails. “I would walk around and say, ‘Hey, doesn’t that look like something I just saw in the lab?’ ” she remembers.

Of course there’s a larger point to be made here as well. “People shouldn’t look at things with just one perspective,” says Neustein. “There’s always another way to see what’s in front of you.”

Cross section of a ureter, the tube that connects each kidney to the bladder. © Sherrie Neustein
A rib cage. © Sherrie Neustein