My name is Heather Patterson. I am an emergency physician and photographer based in Calgary, Canada.  I am honoured to share the story of how the intersection of my medical career and in-hospital photography during the pandemic, has transformed my experience as a frontline worker and reconnected me with the purpose and privilege of being a physician.

This project, while documentary in nature, is a visual representation of my journey as an emergency physician during the pandemic. Beginning with uncertainty, apprehension, and grief for the loss of how we provided care in the past, the shift in my perspective is apparent as images move to celebrating resilience, teamwork, and compassion.  Despite the cumulative emotional toll of witnessing profound tragedy, a renewed sense of purpose, and recognition of the deep connection between myself, my patients, and my colleagues, has inspired me to keep going on the difficult days.

The unprecedented tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic is explored in images of patients alone, fighting for their lives and may offer an opportunity for dialogue about personal experiences and wellness.   Frontline workers and survivors often share the same sentiment: life will never be the same.  I believe it is up to us to decide how our lives will be changed.  


Heather Patterson, BScH, MD, FRCPC Emergency Medicine

All photos taken and posted with AHS approval and individual consent.
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