Photo Friday: We are all Patients in the End (Wonderful what can be done with a paintbrush)

We Are All Patients in the End

This is for you, Susannah Fox – This week’s photograph is of Regina Holliday and Cindy Throop who helped organize a flash mob in Dupont Circle. Regina’s shown myself and others of the power of the artists’s brush in creating change. I wouldn’t have envisioned this a year ago for health care.

The scene on Tuesday reminded me of another photograph I took a few weeks ago, while at BWI airport. It is of a letter written to Thurgood Marshall in 1954 about his efforts – “It is really wonderful what can be done with these television cameras.” Less than a mile from the spot Regina is standing is where Justice Marshall planned the strategy to overturn school segregation. The building is now called the Thurgood Marshall Center, pictured below.


Thank you! I was just thinking about how my work as a survey researcher (and sometime ethnographer) is a bit like painting. I talk quite a bit about capturing "portraits" of the population, but my paintbrush is broad — I paint with numbers, talking about people in the aggregate most of the time. When I do get a chance to bring it down to an individual level, it's esp. satisfying because that's where the storytelling can become personal. It's not "61% of adults" but this one person telling what happened to them and how it relates to the point I'm making with the data.

Ted Eytan, MD