Medicine as Art
Jane Lee is a first-year medical student originally from Steilacoom, Washington, and a violinist with the Life Sciences Orchestra. The orchestra consists of members of the life sciences community from across the University of Michigan, and is part of the Health System’s Gifts of Art program.
“I started playing when I was 5 years old. Initially, it took a lot of practice and repetition — and squeaking. Being a violinist has taught me the value of years of training and practice — the attention to detail and all the time it takes to produce a finished product, master a skill. Once the foundation is set, you develop your own style and expression. It’s the same with medicine. That’s why I like the depiction of medicine as an art.
“The Life Sciences Orchestra was a huge draw for me. At the audition, I asked one of the organizers if he taught in the School of Music and learned he’s actually a professor of dermatology. It gave me some perspective — that I can continue playing music throughout my medical career.
“I saw one of my professors after our last rehearsal. It’s great to be able to talk to her about medicine, but also to be playing music alongside her without being in a hierarchy.”
Interview by Whitley Hill
Photograph by J. Adrian Wylie