By Ashley Wong
As a genetic counselor, I help patients find out if there is a genetic difference that explains their health conditions. However, my duty to my patients is not only to address their medical concerns but also their emotions. Rather than solely focusing on the science, I explore my patient’s strengths and qualities. This painting is a reflection of my value in using different perspectives to appreciate the uniqueness of an individual. Depending on how you view this painting, you may see a face, a wheelchair, genetic motifs, or simply a collage of vibrant colors. The use of bright colors in particular reflect the optimism and resilience of the individuals I met through HKMPS. There is no “correct” way to interpret this painting because our own values influence the way we think. While it is inevitable to have preconceived notions when you meet someone who may look different from you, I encourage you to set aside these biases and try to get to know the person as an individual. While our genes are our bodies’ instructions to grow and develop, they do not dictate one’s character. Rather than defining a person by a spelling mistake in one of their genes, seek to understand their values, hopes and aspirations.