Doctors turn to the arts to unwind

Medical professionals — doctors, nurses, all of those other people who take care of us — are, at the heart of it, scientists who bring to their work each day years of rigorous scientific study.

But even the most jam-packed brain needs some downtime occasionally. We asked several valley medical professionals how they redirect their minds to more artistic avocations when they’re away from the office.

Here’s how a few of them unwind in their spare time.

Jonathan Nissanov has spent a portion of his career working in the field of biomedical imaging. So it’s probably not surprising that Nissanov, a professor of neuroscience and physiology at Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine, also is an award-winning photographer whose work has been shown in galleries.

Nissanov became interested in photography when he was about 12 years old, when his parents signed him up for a class in darkroom skills — maybe, he jokes “to get me out of their hair.”

Nissanov’s interest in photography grew. “I think the first things were the usual kind of family pictures and things like that,” he recalls. It wasn’t until college that he dedicated more time to photography.

“As an undergrad, I started taking it more seriously and started to do some model portfolios, that sort of thing, for beer money,” he says. “That’s when I started to hone my skills.”

What was it about photography that appealed to him? “I think the models,” Nissanov jokes.

“I guess I was somewhat of a shy guy, and I think photography kind of enabled me on one hand to be engaged and on the other hand to have a protective barrier. I think that’s pretty common in photographers.”

Nissanov has shown his work in galleries, and one of his photos won a magazine photography contest.

“I used to do a very different type of photography,” he says. “I don’t know exactly how to describe this genre. It’s somewhere between abstract and representational. So you can identify the object, but it’s not necessarily about the subjects.”

Nissanov also was working with biomedical imaging technology at the time, “and I’d use a lot of tools from there to manipulate the images to get more emotional or sensual elements that would not be inherent to the subject,” he says.

“Nowadays, I mostly do street photography, and I think that’s a form of interaction with people, because it’s not a passive concept,” Nissanov says. “It’s not this stalking process. Rather, you are engaging people, and you often ask them to take a photo or you take one then engage them in discussion. So it allows you a means of entering into someone’s life.”

At the same time, and on the other side of the lens, Nissanov says, “you see things with a camera you won’t see otherwise. It changes your perception.”

• • •

Dr. Robert Kessler jokes that, in his spare time, “I play in mud.”

Kessler, an associate professor of osteopathic manipulative medicine at Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine, took his first pottery class about six years ago, when he and his family “decided we were only going to give each other presents we made ourselves.”

“I live in Boulder City, and they had a pottery studio,” he says. “So I signed up and started doing it, and it turned out to be a lot of fun and relaxing, so I just kept going.”

Kessler’s work tends to be mostly pots, vases and containers of various sorts.

“One of my daughters is doing bonsai now and she asked me to do a bunch of bonsai pots for her,” he says. “And my wife does a little bit of ikebana — Japanese flower arrangement — so I made ikebana vases. I do quite a few platters, vases, almost everything, and I give away whatever I make.”

In his professional life, Kessler teaches students osteopathic manipulative medicine, the collection of hands-on techniques osteopathic physicians employ to manipulate the musculoskeletal system to promote healing and prevent illness.

“I work with my fingers all the time, and I have for my entire career. In a lot of ways, it’s about control of your fingers, controlling pressure and depth and those sorts of things.”

But while he sees some similarities between it and pottery, “the thought process is different, which is also what’s nice about it.”

While pottery can be relaxing, and even meditative, he says, “if I break a piece or it comes out badly, it doesn’t matter.”

• • •

Dr. Alan Ikeda, a specialist in pediatric hematology oncology, spends his days treating young patients with cancer and diseases of the blood. But, outside of the office, he often can be found rocking out playing ukulele and guitar with a Hawaiian reggae/pop band.

“I’ve always loved music,” Ikeda says. “I was born and raised in Hawaii, and you get exposed to such instruments quite early in school.”

He began to play informally with musicians in a local park, “and by the time I was finishing college, I was playing with bands onstage,” he says.

Playing music fell to the wayside during medical school, but Ikeda picked it up again when he went to Los Angeles for a fellowship and started playing bars with fellow musicians. Six years ago, Ikeda moved to Las Vegas, and two years ago he started playing gigs here.

“I was busy,” he says. “And, actually, a guy, J. Russo, came and got me back into playing again.”

Ikeda and guitarist Russo — along with guitarist Sami Saula, bassist Joe Atanacio and drummer/percussionist Dennis Garza — now make up Rydmik Healing, which plays what Ikeda describes as a sort of fusion of island, reggae and Hawaiian music.

“We initially started playing in order to (do) fundraisers for the kids who have blood and cancer disorders in Nevada,” he says. “We played some bars around the area.”

“I love it,” Ikeda says “it’s a chance for that creativity to come out and there’s no pressure behind it. It’s completely fun, and I watch people smile and I enjoy that.”

Does playing music relate in any way to the practice of medicine? “That’s a two-stage question,” Ikeda says.

“I think my performance of music is completely separate from medicine. But I definitely believe in the health and therapeutic aspect of music.”

Read more from John Przybys at reviewjournal.com. Contact him at jprzybys@reviewjournal.com and follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Get a sneak peek at Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like