Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

2018-19 Rhythm Heart


Meet Aaron Miller

Each year, Jefferson Humanities & Health commissions a student to create a work of art that will become our trademark image for that academic year. The 2018-2019 featured image is Rhythm, a watercolor and ink illustration created by SKMC class of 2021 student Aaron Miller. We asked Aaron to tell us a little about himself. Read on for his interview:

JHH: How did you develop an interest in art?

Aaron: My mother is a visual artist who always encouraged me to express myself both through words and images, so my interest in art began early on. When I was about three years old, I had really bad nightmares. My mother gave me a small yellow paintbox and told me that I could "paint my dreams into anything I wanted." Like most children sleeping with their stuffed animals, I slept with that paintbox. Recently I found the box… It was filled with lead-free paint in case you were wondering.

What do you enjoy about art?

This is a tough question. I think art, in whatever form it manifests, speaks differently to different people. But for me, when I hear a joke or song lyric that is relatable, I feel understood. When I see a drawing, painting or photograph that helps me view something from another perspective, I feel like my mind has been expanded. Art inspires me and pushes me through difficult times. 

What made you decide to go to med school?

Even though I began my med school journey a bit later than some of my peers (having spent several years pursuing a career in the arts), I think I always knew that this is what I wanted to do. I have volunteered with my community ambulance, in emergency rooms and with disaster response teams. It’s a bit of a cliché, but I think most doctors, nurses, therapists, technicians and healthcare workers can relate to the sentiment of getting the most satisfaction while helping others. For me, I wanted to find a career that allows me to develop novel therapies and devices to improve patients lives, but still allows me to have the privilege of delivering care directly to patients on a day-to-day basis.

What types of art do you pursue?

These days, most of my art is expressed through illustrating my med school notes (my instagram @UselessMedSchoolNotes), compiling medical illustrations for studies and papers, painting portraits and landscapes and performing improv comedy with ComedySportz Philadelphia. In the past I have costarred on TV shows, commercials and movies. I have illustrated books, written screenplays, produced indie films, as well as photographed and edited for the NFL and Magazines.

What do you like to do around Philadelphia?

I enjoy riding my bicycle along the river, going out for good meals, finding interesting items on Craigslist and fixing them up, and I am currently completing my goal of going on 30 walks, for 30 minutes each with 30 different friends.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

You can give me any numerical date in history and I can tell you what day of the week it fell on ... Just kidding, but how cool would that be?