Grasping is a sculpture in plaster inspired by my patient through the Community Partners program. The sculpture depicts an upstretched hand grasping a cell phone upon which a question mark is displayed. On the index finger, a pinprick dribbles blood. A sapling encircles the wrist and hand. The cell phone demonstrates the power of the internet in providing a vast swath of information instantaneously, but the depicted question mark represents the difficulty in knowing which sources can be trusted and the often conflicting guidance and stories that can skew the perception of truth in healthcare. The pricked finger represents my partner’s “situation” of diabetes, which he carefully makes sure to never label as a “disease” by which he is defined. The sapling represents his never-ending optimism, reminding us that always we can be thankful that we wake up to another day.

About the Artist: Alex Sizemore

Alex Sizemore is a second-year MD student at Duke University School of Medicine from Chapin, SC. He became interested in medicine while at Davidson College where he recognized he could use his affinity for science to directly intervene and improve patients’ lives. His involvement with art began in high school as a way to create lasting representations of human expression. In this project, he combines the two and captures his impression of the lived experience of a patient he met and the broader challenges and promises of healthcare.