“My photography is very connected to what I do at the bedside,” he said. “Instead of working with one patient and a family, I have the privilege of touching mass audiences, but the driving force behind it all is identical to my mission in the ED. Helping people to see and understand how modern life can blind us to the dark side of modern progress is another way to save lives.
“ED docs are privileged to form an intimate bond with complete strangers in a moment of time. There’s a sacred quality to it. There is no place for political correctness. It is not about right or left, rich or poor, black or white, gay or straight, American or foreign. We strive to treat everyone with the same decency and respect as fellow human beings. We guide patients and their families on a journey through darkness to light that’s always toward hope. Where else does that role exist in society?”
Leaving Something for the Future
During his trips to rural France, Dr. Gusky gradually earned the trust of local people who shared their secrets. He was granted exclusive access to photograph many unknown places beneath the Western Front, almost all of them on private land. To honor the trust and protect these cultural treasures from theft, he is tight-lipped about their exact locations.
The landowners often accompany him on photo shoots, which take place in total darkness and are sometimes dangerous. “Some of the underground cities are so vast, one could easily lose their way in the darkness,” he said. Although he doesn’t speak French and his hosts do not speak English, “the photographs are a creative language we all shared. Making the photographs created an indelible bond. We all felt like we were leaving a legacy, leaving something for the future.”
“The photographs are a creative language we all shared. Making the photographs created an indelible bond. We all felt like we were leaving a legacy, leaving something for the future.”
Dr. Gusky is a full-time emergency physician with Altus Emergency Centers in the Houston area but resides in Dallas. He condenses two months of shifts into two weeks, allowing him to pursue his second career as an artist and explorer. He believes that physicians who wish to deepen their creativity can draw upon the rigor and discipline of medical training. “Medicine teaches us to be relentlessly curious, to live on the frontline of life, and to continuously advance our knowledge.”