Hello! I’m Farokh Jamalyaria, MD. I created this blog to document my creative pursuits during medical training and beyond.  Since starting this blog in 2014, my writing has been featured in KevinMD, Salon, The Rheumatologist, and Learning How to Learn.  I’ve also published elsewhere.  I hope you enjoy my blog!

The following are among my most popular essays:

How We Studied for the Boards: this essay was viewed in at least 139 nations around the world in the first week after its publication.  It’s used in Learning How to Learn, the most popular massive open online course of all time, for which I am now the Medical Mentor.  A greatly abridged version of the essay (about half the size) was later published on KevinMD with a changed title.

Lessons from a Brush with Death: I was inspired to write this essay soon after a motor vehicle accident.  It was immediately republished by Salon.  Later, it was republished by KevinMD.

The Serious Diagnosis: my closest friends loved this piece.  However, it stagnated on my blog for almost a year before I submitted it for republication on KevinMD.  (I’m very lazy at marketing my work.  I’m slowly getting better at this.)

A Witnessed Death: an account of a tragic incident witnessed during vacation in Costa Rica.  Republished by KevinMD.

Here are several of my own favorites:

On the Three-Wattled Bellbird and Learning Guitar, Anatomy of a Charcoal Self-Portrait, The Old Physician, Mockingbirds at Twilight, and Meditate for Clarity.

Brief bio:
I’m a board-certified, full-time rheumatologist passionate about high-quality patient care.

I was born in Iran near midnight on the first day of the Iran Hostage Crisis.  (True story!)  My parents moved our family to the US when I was five years old. I was raised mostly in Texas, graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University at College Station with a bachelor of science in computer science and minors in math and chemistry, and subsequently enrolled in Carnegie Mellon’s computer science PhD program, which I attended for a year before deciding to go to medical school at Baylor College of Medicine.  (I have this to show for my time at Carnegie Mellon.)  I was editor-in-chief of Remedy, our medical school’s magazine of art and literature.  After graduation, I moved to Southern California for internal medicine residency, became board-certified in internal medicine, worked for a year as a hospitalist, and then moved back to Texas for fellowship.

Using instructional books, I began learning how to draw in November/December 2010. I’ve kept at it off and on since then. I freehand all of my drawings (I don’t use any tracing or drafting equipment). I began learning how to paint in September/October of 2012.

With no prior musical background, I started learning guitar in July 2013, bought a playable classical guitar (Cordoba C5, set up as a flamenco guitar) in December 2013 (my previous guitar was unplayable), and then started formal classical guitar lessons in February 2014. I haven’t looked back since!

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6 thoughts on “About

  1. I’m working through the Jack Reid book right now! I found your site when I was searching images for the instruction pictures. Your paintings inspire me to persist! Thank you.

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