Medicine and music are linked. It’s partly due to the wiring of our brains: both fields are mathematical, relational, and conceptual. It also comes down to how we use our brains. Medicine, like music, is an art, a large knowledge base upon which we draw and build with each new patient we meet. Medicine depends on teamwork: treatments are developed and refined in consultation with colleagues, much like a theme is passed and adapted among instruments in an orchestra.
Portrait of the young scientist as a trumpet player Because of these shared characteristics, it’s not surprising that you’ll find many doctors and scientists harboring musical talents. Come see a performance of the Longwood Symphony Orchestra in Boston—my musical outlet since 1984—to hear this firsthand. While there was a brief period of time when I considered becoming a professional musician, my heart was always in science and medicine, and it made more sense to me to make music my hobby.Continue >