History of Medicine
The Dermatologist by Jose Perez
(Oil on Canvas, 24 in x 30 in, 61.5 cm x 77 cm)
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Doctors like to say that dermatology is the perfect specialty, since 'patients never get well, never die, and never call at night.' But if the dermatologist happens to be treating a tiger, all bets are off.
The magnificent tiger in this painting has gone to the doctor because he has lost his stripes. What could be more stressful to a tiger than this? His identity and ego are at stake. Who could restore his splendid coat more competently than a dermatologist?
The doctor and nurse in this painting seem to be approaching their needlework with due diligence and planning, but the audience of monkeys seems unimpressed. Maybe they know from experience that, if for any reason the doctor inadvertently sticks the patient, or, heaven forbid, the transplanted stripes are rejected, this placid tiger may suddenly rouse and have the doctor and his staff for lunch. What a metaphor of a malpractice suit!