Doctors at the Mayo Clinic Get Artistic With Dermatopathology

What do you get when you ask doctors from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic to bare their tortured-artist souls?

For the second year in a row, Mayo dermatopathologists are competing in a friendly art contest, using the images they see every day on lab slides as creative inspiration. “Every single day, dermatopathologists get to see beautiful images under the microscope, and most people never have the opportunity to see that,” says Dr. Julia Lehman, the creator of the contest. “So I thought it would be a nice way to show not only the science of dermatopathology, but also the art.”

Last year, the winning entry was “Hair Follicle Triplet,” created by Dr. Alexander Meves by introducing fluorescent dyes to a photo of hair follicles.

“Art can be seen in every aspect of life,” Dr. Lehman says. “You just have to have an open mind and be looking for it.” But while the gorgeous images from the competition highlight the amazing beauty of even the tiniest parts of the human anatomy, they’re also a great reminder of what we destroy when we neglect to wear sunscreen.

Check out all the 2012 contest entries and then vote for your favorite here.

“In Honor of All Those Diagnoses that Sometimes Seem to Be So Many Light Years Away,” by Dr. Tania Gonzalez
“Zebra Stripes,” positive control, desmin stain, by Dr. Julia Lehman
“Party in the Papillary Dermis,” by Dr. Allison Arthur
“Disney’s Fungus,” paracoccidioidomycosis, GMS stain, by Dr. Michael Wolz and Dr. Cris Ida
“Prickly Situation,” polyomavirus-associated trichodysplasia spinulosa, H&E Stain, by Dr. Alina Bridges
“The Interface of Love,” heart-shaped changes at the dermal-epidermal junction, in lichen planus, H&E stain, by Dr. Michael Wolz
“Where’s Waldo,” folliculotropic mycosis fungoides, H&E stain, by Dr. Julia Lehman
“A Closer Look at the Father of the Vienna School,” by Dr. John Griffin
“So Characteristic, How Wild and Noteworthy, Never Ordinary, Interesting Diagnosis BCC,” by Dr. Chad Weaver

Images: Mayo Clinic