Lancaster Physician Summer 2019 - 34

L A N C A S T E R M E D I C A L S O C I E T Y.O R G

Passion Outside of Practice
It's our pleasure to highlight a Lancaster City & County Medical Society member's "passion outside of practice" in
each issue of Lancaster Physician. Beyond their commitment to health care, LCCMS members have many other
talents, skills, and interests that might surprise you. In this issue, we're thrilled to feature Kerry T. Givens, M.D.,
M.S., and his passion outside of practice.

Kerry T. Givens, MD, MS
Campus Eye Center

Why is this pursuit special
to you?

Nature photography marries well with my profession
in ophthalmology-they both rely heavily on lenses,
closeup imaging technologies and high-tech
gadgetry. Moreover, as a closeup photographer I have
learned that tiny, fascinating, and beautiful subjects
are plentiful, even in suburbia. This abundance
occasionally causes certain problems. Companions
don't like hiking with me since I tend to stop
every ten feet or so to study or photograph some
interesting insect, lichen, or slime mold. And on dewy
summer mornings, I enjoy looking for new things to
photograph in the native plant garden my wife and I
have created in our backyard. I confess that has made
me late for work more than once.
At times, my outdoor interests have intersected with
my medical career in unexpected ways. While I was
a sophomore at Duke Medical School, word got out
that I had knowledge of wild mushrooms. I was
surprised when the staff at the hospital emergency
room asked me if I would carry a pager, in case they
got any mushroom poisoning cases. They needed
help identifying half-eaten mushrooms to decide if
the people who ate them were likely to survive. I was
actually called in to consult on a few cases.

L to R: Dr. Givens photographing a butterfly; Winter is far from boring in terms of providing ample subjects for macro photography. Dr. Givens found this
maple leaf entombed in ice one January while visiting his wife's relatives in the greater Chicagoland area; Dr. Givens considers this common garden flower
one of his "muse species" that he never tires of re-photographing every spring.

Passion Outside of Practice:
Macro Photography

I am a lifelong Pennsylvania naturalist and outdoor
photographer. My photographic specialty is macro
photography (jargon for closeup photography).

How did you develop an
interest in your passion outside
of practice?

As a teenager and budding naturalist, it was my
great fortune to be befriended by Ned Smith, an
acclaimed Pennsylvania wildlife artist and nature
writer. Ned taught me a lot about how to observe

nature, and he also encouraged me to take up
photography as a way to share my discoveries.

How long have you been
participating in this activity?

Forty years! I took my first closeup photo in 1979-a
statuesque pair of Shaggy Mane mushrooms, growing
on the Bucknell University campus. The camera I used, a
Minolta SRT-101, was a high school graduation present
from my parents. It used a primitive medium known as
"film." In its lifetime, that camera captured thousands of
images, ranging from hibernating bats in underground
caves to rare wild orchids, and the occasional venomous
snake. Also, many, many mushrooms, which remain my
favorite subject for closeup work.

LANCASTER

34

PHYSICIAN

Photography, like any art, is meant to be shared, but
closeup photos do not lure the attention of publishers
like action-oriented pictures of wildlife or sweeping
landscape images. Nonetheless, I've been lucky to find
some great outlets for my sometimes esoteric pictures.
While I was attending Duke Medical School, I started
publishing my photos in various books, magazines,
etc. The Audubon Society and Sierra Club featured my
photos in their calendars for several years. National
Geographic used some of my images in book projects.
The Minolta Corporation took notice of my work, and
generously sponsored me for many years; Kodak also
supported my photography. For almost a decade, the
two companies jointly backed me as a speaker at the
Philadelphia Flower Show, where I taught a course on
flower photography. That was a great gig!
Lately I've turned my office into a gallery for my
photos. I'm surprised how many patients tell me
they find my images of colorful butterflies and other
familiar backyard wildlife "soothing."

PHOTOS REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM KERRY GIVENS, MD

Would you briefly describe your
passion outside of practice for
those who might be unfamiliar
with it?

What else would you like
readers to know about this?



Lancaster Physician Summer 2019

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