Please tell us about yourself
One MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) alumna is proving art can literally be a matter of life and death. Sneha Pai’07 (animation) uses her talent to help medical professionals learn their crafts. Sneha Pai is a senior game designer at MedStar Health where she helps medical professionals learn their crafts through medical procedure- and device based training games.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?
When deciding on career paths as a teenager, she was torn between pursuing medicine and the visual arts. Luckily, after studying Experimental Animation at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and working as a medical animator at the Simulation and Training Environment Lab (SiTEL) at MedStar Health in Washington D.C, everything came full circle.
Please tell us about your work
Pai works for MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, in the Simulation Training Environment Lab (SiTEL), where she contributes to the creation of medical training simulations for doctors, residents, and nurses. “For various procedures-whether anatomical or a physician interacting with a patient-we create a virtual scenario that trains doctors and allows them to make mistakes in a gaming environment before they perform the real procedure,” Pai explained.
As part of an interdisciplinary team of artists, programmers, game designers, and medical professionals, she has created interactive graphics and animations for various technologies including 3D medical anatomy simulators, device trainers, and scenario-based clinical modules that enable physicians and residents to practice a wide variety of procedures in a virtual game environment. She has also taught undergraduate courses in traditional and digital animation at MICA in Baltimore, Maryland.
What do you love about your job?
Sneha’s interests are in enhancing learning and development for all ages through the use of interactivity and storytelling. She comes to SVA to investigate and understand users and their complex interactions and experiences in the healthcare setting and beyond.