Monday, December 6, 2010


During my years in medical school, our Associate Dean for Student Affairs was Dr. Andrew Seal, a general surgeon by trade who is considered by many to be quite a Renaissance man, with diverse interests ranging from the history of medicine to music and to painting. In fact, if you lurk around the ground floor of UBC Hospital, one of his canvases might still be gracing the hallways.

Dr. Seal's Retirement cake - surgeon & painter

My fondest memories of Dr. Seal involve his role as patron of the arts at UBC Medicine. At a time when I was suppressing my creative tendencies in order to concentrate all my energy on scholarly pursuits, participating in the UBC Medical School Choir, Jazz Band, and Spring Gala concerts was a true highlight of my four years (admittedly, I am just a band geek at heart). Without Dr. Seal's influence, I doubt that the arts would have flourished as they did at UBC Medicine.

Dr. Seal's Retirement cake - closeup of incision

And so, to be asked to create Dr. Seal's retirement cake was a huge honour and conceptual challenge. Much time was spent brainstorming how to combine general surgery with painting in cake form without being too literal. The challenge was even greater because it has been over 10 years since I have been in a non-ophthalmic OR using those gigantic needle drivers and 1-0 sutures. Congratulation Dr. Seal on your well-deserved retirement!