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Anesthesiologist & Artist

The photographs of Alfred Feingold, M.D.

A STUDY IN CONCENTRATION: Operating room nurse Lisa Carter-White, R.N., is so intent on her work here that she seems to be oblivious to everything around her. An ability to concentrate is an important skill in operating suites, for they're bustling places.


All I did to this image was blur the background somewhat. I didn't use any Photoshop tricks other than trying to separate the figure from the background so it stands out. I try to show people within a context that's relevant.

SACRIFICE: The Orozco frescoes—which adorn the walls of the reserve room corridor in Dartmouth's Baker Library—made a strong impression on Feingold when he was an undergraduate. Mexican artist Jose Clemente Orozco painted the murals in the 1930s when he was a visiting lecturer in the Department of Art. Feingold added the OR lights and superimposed a surgical procedure on this panel, which is titled "Ancient Human Sacrifice."


This mural is one that I remember from when I was a freshman at Dartmouth. Orozco must have spent time in an operating room, because he got the lighting just right. It's almost like there are OR lights shining on that picture. All I had to do was overlay an actual operation and operating lights. I didn't do anything with the focus of the lighting. I'm convinced that Orozco spent time in a hospital, because if you look at some of his other murals—like one where he shows a woman in stirrups delivering test-tube babies—he had to know exactly what a delivery suite looked like. He got it right.

ON THE MALL: This picture appears to have been taken from the perspective of a patient lying on a gurney in the middle of the DHMC mall. Anesthesiologist Lisabeth Maloney, M.D. (right), is conferring with resident Peter Rauert, M.D. Maloney is a 1977 graduate of Dartmouth College and did her residency at DHMC ('81-84).


Anesthesiologists, pathologists, and radiologists work only in hospitals. When you come to a hospital, you don't usually choose your anesthesiologist or pathologist or radiologist; we are hospital-based. So for photos of anesthesiologists, I will sometimes use a general hospital scene as background—what patients see and associate with a good (or bad) experience in a hospital. By the way, that white roll hanging from the ventilator on the left might look like toilet paper, but it's actually adhesive tape. You've got to put your tape someplace secure, because you never know when you're going to need it. You don't want it rolling away, so you always stick it to something.

MAGICAL HANDS: Paul Kispert, M.D., a general surgeon, looks almost ghostlike here as he performs an exploratory laparotomy and resection of the small bowel. Feingold achieved the effect by rendering the background as a grayscale image, while leaving the hands and the surgical site in the foreground in full color.


It's almost like the hands in this image are separated from the body. That's sometimes the feeling I get with some of these really masterful surgeons—that their hands seem to be completely separated from their body. They're doing such wonderful work.

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