2022 AMI Online Salon

A Sense of Belonging

Project Details

  • Entrant Name:  Natalie Koscal
  • Other Contributors Alison Burke, Anita Blanchard, MD
    Client: The New England Journal of Medicine
  • Copyright: Massachusetts Medical Society, 2020
  • Medium/software used: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator
  • Final presentation format: Printed and online journal
  • Primary Audience: Medical students, residents, physicians, and health care providers

Project Description

Dr. Anita Blanchard has built an impressive career in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. As a Black physician, she has encountered a variety of challenges along her journey from medical student to physician, mentor, professor, and Dean at the University of Chicago. The goal of this piece was to create a visually impactful representation of Dr. Blanchard’s story, framed within the context of the larger multigenerational landscape of structural racism in the medical profession. Through collaboration with Dr. Blanchard, we highlighted a powerful source of inspiration in her career from her accomplished mentor, Dr. James Bowman. The story was from a moment early in Dr. Bowman’s career (1947) where he stood up for equality in the face of discrimination. He also went on to become a pioneer in sickle cell anemia research, treatment, and advocacy.Color and light were used to create subtle distinctions between the different time periods. Facial expressions, body language, and creative use of perspective were essential to help connect the reader to the gamut of emotions Dr. Blanchard felt during her time as a medical student—from moments of hope and excitement to times of frustration when she felt the weight of racial disparity. For added context, a panel of data demonstrates that despite positive change, racial disparity is still a major challenge in the medical field. The piece ends on a positive note, showing Dr. Blanchard becoming a mentor to the next generation of students.