By Retired Colonel Alicia Y. Christy, MD, MHSCR, FACOG
As deputy director of reproductive health services with the Veterans Health Administration Office of Women’s Health, I have an opportunity to advocate for health equity for women of all races and ethnicities. My watercolor paintings have become an outlet for my angst and frustration—and for my hope and my optimism. I paint to voice my ideas about the social change needed to improve access to quality health care. Through my paintings, I create space for resistance and representation in the world of art.
A TED Talks playlist describes powerful art activism as “Art that doesn't just grab your attention, but sends a message, makes a statement and resonates.” That’s what I hope to achieve with my artwork.
Self-Portrait, by Retired Colonel Alicia Y. Christy, MD, MHSCR, FACOG
I believe racism is a critical factor in health disparities. Many social problems can be viewed from the context of public health problems.
COVID Tears, by Retired Colonel Alicia Y. Christy, MD, MHSCR, FACOG
The inspiration for COVID Tears was my frustration with the inequities in care that the Black community experienced during the pandemic.
Art Against Racism: When Will Black Lives Matter, by Retired Colonel Alicia Y. Christy, MD, MHSCR, FACOG
I use my artwork as a voice against social injustice. For example, the killing of unarmed Black men is both a social and public health problem. The George Floyd protests were the inspiration for Art Against Racism: When Will Black Lives Matter.
Physicians Must Speak for the Voiceless and the Vulnerable, by Retired Colonel Alicia Y. Christy, MD, MHSCR, FACOG
In Physicians Must Speak for the Voiceless and the Vulnerable, I painted the protesting doctors in white coats to remind me of my responsibility as an effective and unwavering advocate for patients and to model that advocacy to students, residents, fellows, attending physicians, and faculty.
Why I Vote: The Ethical Obligation to Promote Voter Engagement to Achieve Health Equity, by Retired Colonel Alicia Y. Christy, MD, MHSCR, FACOG
Clinicians have ethical obligations to promote health equity. One way to do so is through democratic engagement. This watercolor painting looks to our 20th-century ancestors who fought to establish their—and many of our—voting rights.
Proceeds from my artwork support the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium and Uniting US, a nonprofit for veteran artists. Being able to support causes I care about gives meaning to my artwork.
The theme for Black History Month 2023 is Black Resistance. This February, ACOG wants to hear from our members about how they’ve created, benefited from, or seen the need for space to resist racism and work toward equity in medicine or in their institution. Email [email protected] to share a story in the form of a written essay, visual art, or a video.