Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Residency: Orthopaedic surgery at Einstein Medical Center
Fellowship: Orthopaedic sports, arthroscopy and reconstructive surgery at Southern California Orthopedic Institute
When Mark Ayzenberg, MD, a member of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s charter Class of 2013, first began his orthopaedic surgery residency at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, he feared the 80-plus-hour weeks spent in the hospital might threaten his ability to deliver the person-centered care he learned in medical school. “When all you do is work, you stop looking around. You don’t really see your surroundings,” he said. He knew capitulating to drudgery would lead to burnout and cynicism, so having interests outside of medicine was vital — and he vowed to be sure to indulge them.
With a camera borrowed from his dad, Mark began visiting favorite spots in his native Philadelphia and photographing them using a multiple-exposure technique he thought truly captured the essence of the place.
People began to see the familiar in new ways through Mark’s photos. To his surprise and delight, his photography began to sell locally, as well as abroad, through his website. An entire business resulted from photographs he shot during the day while he was working months of nights. He even found an unexpectedly direct connection between his photography and medicine. “Next year I’ll begin a sports medicine fellowship in Los Angeles,” he said. “When I was interviewing for it, I was asked if I thought my photography related to arthroscopic surgery and the ability to visualize problems inside a joint — something I never really considered before that conversation.”
Mark’s fellowship is in orthopaedic sports, arthroscopy and reconstructive surgery at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute. “It’s an orthopaedic specialty hospital and was my No. 1 choice for fellowship. I am grateful that my Geisinger Commonwealth education has led to so many amazing opportunities,” he said.
In the future, he plans to also continue his artistic career. “During my year in LA, I definitely hope to take advantage of the myriad national parks and opportunities for West Coast adventures — camera in hand, of course. I have been expanding the photography business, which has really exploded in the last year. I currently donate a portion of all proceeds to Shriners Children’s Hospitals and I hope to increase that significantly once I have started my practice.”