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  • Writer's pictureAndrea L Merrill

Savita Potarazu: Ceramicist

My pottery teacher often mentions that surgeons make good ceramicists and ceramicists make good surgeons. To no surprise, I have fallen in love with both fields. During my gap year from medical school I pursued a Master's in Public Health and had plenty of time to explore hobbies I have always wanted to try. So, I signed up for my first pottery class last summer and the rest is history.

I have always loved working with my hands. Whether I am cutting vegetables, digging soil in my garden, and now wheel-throwing in pottery, I derive immense satisfaction from putting my hands and mind to work together.

Now having completed my core clinical rotations, I realized the ones I enjoyed the most were those in which I got to spend time in the operating room. There is a certain mindfulness I feel when I am scrubbed in and fully focused on the tasks at hand. I get that same feeling when I am at the pottery wheel augmenting my dexterity, steadiness, and creativity.

To me pottery is the perfect combination of art and science. Too much pressure, your pot will collapse, too little pressure and your pot won't reach its full potential. Once you hone the skills, the opportunities for creativity are limitless. Patience, practice, and persistence can take you very far in this art form and are skills that are entirely transferable in the operating room.

As an aspiring Obstetrician and Gynecologist with a passion for the surgical subspecialties, I am excited to continue growing my skills as a budding ceramicist. This activity allows me to decompress but simultaneously feels productive. After having returned from a year away from clerkships I jumped right into my sub-internship in Urogynecology and quickly found myself applying skills I learned from pottery in such a hands-on specialty.

Another aspect of pottery that aligns with my passions is how connected to the earth it makes me feel. As a staunch climate change activist and current executive chair of Medical Students for a Sustainable Future, I care deeply about our planet and how our changing environmental context has significant implications for human health. Pottery allows me to connect with this multidimensional issue in profound ways as I mold clay that once came from the earth into something beautiful that I can use in my daily life. Not to mention pottery makes great presents!

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1 comentário

12 de jun. de 2023

You are so right in describing precision as the common thread that links pottery and surgery together. I hope your insightful exploration continue and inspire others (in both crafts).

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