This month we would like to introduce one of SWA’s more recent members, Dr. Mehrdad Shojaei, who joined the Society of Washington Artists this year. Many of you will recognize his work from the Spring Show – the stunning photo of a mallard duck caught in mid-flight.
A life-long, award-winning, photography enthusiast Dr. Shojaei practiced medicine for a decade and a half in Iran before locating to New York City to train as a hospitalist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Shojaei’s training is specialized in working with patients needing hospitalization after admittance to an emergency room.
In 2010, Mehrdad discovered the Ridgefield wildlife refuge and realized how much comfort and relief photography of wildlife within the refuge brought him. Shortly, Mehrdad worked his love of photography into the hospital programs that engaged the patients in art, music, and pet therapy. Dr. Shojaei is very aware of the need to help patients in transitioning from being just a patient in the hospital then returning to a full and healthy life away from the hospital. Sometimes this is not an easy task, and it takes someone with training and insight to show the way. Part of this process is to engage the patient in art, music, and pet therapy. Dr. Shojaei often uses photography and other art forms to engage his patients in this transition process.
Dr. Shojaei is also instrumental in medical fundraisers such as the Kyla McCullough Gift Fund the Portland non-profit that raises money to help the families of children living with cancer. He donates many of his framed photographs to local medical-related fundraisers. Dr. Shojaei’s goal is to eventually see a network of doctors and other health professionals, who are also artists, create a national coalition of artist healers who can donate their artwork to help others heal. To get more information on Dr. Shojaei you can visit his website at. www.medicineandart.org