H&P #1: On Cervical Cancer

Collaborators: GIAHC, Fred Wyand of ASHA Sexual Health, EJ Feld, Rohini Rau-Murthy, Production UK Video Editing Company, and the Amazing Women who gave their voices and stories to this piece

Music Made by: “Violet” by Elliot Jason Feld of EJFM 102.7

Video Shot at PSCCC of Albany Medical College

Synopsis:

The dance explores the mind of a patient waiting to be screened–the “mental waiting room”. The dance begins with a patient sitting in an exam room, making gestures of nervousness. Mirroring those feelings is a dancer performing Kuchipudi dance.

Background:

I remember watching Dr. Krishnan’s presentation at American Medical Womens’ Association in 2016 as she shared the stories of those who battled cervical cancer. Her videos visually captured the honest emotions of these life-changing experiences.

Cervical cancer affects the whole human experience. Through embodying the narratives of women who battled cervical cancer, I hope to bring to life not only the importance of screening, but also the power of human resilience and dignity in fighting illness. For me, creating this piece served as a reminder to honor illness as we honor health, recognize the weight of diagnoses on patients and their families, and the importance of humanity in medicine.

With help from GIAHC, EJ Feld, and ASHA, we interviewed amazing survivors and created music that incorporated their voices. I then choreographed a piece reflecting their stories, describing what waiting in the examination room feels like for patient facing the unknown in just a paper gown.  Hopefully, the video encourages women to get screened and let them know they are not alone in any feelings they may have. I also hope it gently reminds us as physicians-in-training to respect individual stories and to recognize the importance of bearing witness.

 

 

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