The Neurosurgeon’s Paintbrush: Katherine Ko

The Neurosurgeon’s Paintbrush: Katherine Ko
Kyle A. Smith, MD

Neurosurgical case illustrations, whether drawn or painted, have played an important role over time in sharing knowledge of neurologic anatomy and surgical techniques. Artists have captured the evolution of neurosurgery in permanent display. Neurosurgical greats such as Walter Dandy and Harvey Cushing have drawings and paintings attributed to their career which we still look back on today, whether for educational or entertainment purposes. Artists have a unique ability to capture a detail in medicine or anatomy in such a way that reveals something unknown, or illuminates an emotion which was otherwise obscure. It is this vision, detail, and mastery of touch that makes art and neurosurgery complimentary. Kathryn Ko, MD, MFA, is a practicing neurosurgeon at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. She is also a serious multimedia artist who takes her inspiration from her neurosurgical career.


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