A Great Side Benefit of Healthcare Photography
As a professional photographer I meet a lot of people in various walks of life. Occasionally I have the opportunity to meet and photograph someone who is truly one of a kind. Because I often work in and around hospitals I meet many people who are dedicated, highly educated and committed to helping others. A couple of years ago I spent a delightful hour photographing a doctor named Joseph Kirsner, possibly the most unique human being I have ever met. He was a physician, teacher and researcher at the University of Chicago Medical Center. At the time, he was still spending two days a week at his office consulting and mentoring, even though he needed the help of a walker to get around. He lived several blocks from the hospital, but walked to and from his office by himself. For most of us that isn’t particularly unusual, but Dr. Kirsner became an MD in 1933. Sorrowfully, he passed away after nearly 75 years as a physician. He was 100 years old when I met him and was as alert and bright as many physicians fifty years younger. He was nearly 103 when he passed away and had been working until he himself need hospitalization. When I met him, Dr. Kirsner bore a striking resemblance to George Lucas’ famous film character, Yoda, but Dr. Kirsner was no doubt wiser and more personable. It was fun to share a moment with him and as I might have guessed before I met him, he seemed as interested in my digital cameras as I was in learning about his extraordinary life. He was an immunologist, geneticist, gastroenterologist and in great part developed the diagnosis and treatment of Chron’s disease. When I met him, he couldn’t have been five feet tall, but he was an absolute giant of a man.