Members of Orchestra Nova LA, which was founded as the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony by physicians and medical specialists.

In Thursday’s Van (Germany), J.R. Patterson writes, “Where doctors find their particular brand of humanism … is a mystery. But many have looked for it in music. Edward Jenner, discoverer of the smallpox vaccine, was a dedicated violinist; physician René Laennec’s appetite for carving his own flutes led him to invent the stethoscope; the surgeon Theodor Billroth was a talented pianist and violist, and sounding board of his friend Johannes Brahms. Dr. Albert Schweitzer funded the building of a clinic at Lambaréné, deep in the jungle of Gabon, by giving [organ] recitals … The overlay of music and medicine goes both ways. Berlioz was expected to follow his father into medicine and graduated from a Parisian medical school … Borodin first worked as a military surgeon and didn’t begin his musical training until he was 29…. There is clearly a symmetry between these two practices…. Healthcare professionals also have an organized, public performative presence, with numerous classical music orchestras across the globe—the World Doctors Orchestra and the European Doctors Orchestra, and similar regional groups in Los Angeles, Melbourne, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Montreal, and London, among others…. The existence of these orchestras is proof that the constraints of a medical life do not preclude creating music, and may well benefit it.”