How I Create My Diagrams


How do you decide what topic to write about? What software do you use to draw? How much time does it take? These are all questions I routinely receive regarding illustrations I post on social media, so here’s my best attempt to shed some light on my workflow.

The beauty of anesthesiology and critical care is that I’m in a constant pursuit to know more about EVERYTHING. Although cardiothoracic anesthesiology is my subspeciality, I have an interest in all organ systems and their delicate interplay to maintain systemic homeostasis. Consequently, my ideas for illustrations stem from anything – my patients, new publications, random notes in a margin of some textbook that I found interesting, a topic I ran across on YouTube, and especially topics that I’m weak at.

I use GoodNotes on my iPad Pro with Apple Pencil to draw… although I spend most of the time erasing things since I’m definitely not an artist. Some of my doodles take me 30 minutes, whereas others can take a few hours if I factor in the associated blog post/Instagram Live session.

After finalizing my drawing, I’ll AirDrop the file to either my MacBook Pro or Hackintosh and use Pixelmator Pro to put some finishing touches on the diagram. Then I use a combination of JPEGMini Pro and ImageOptim to perform lossless compression of the image file prior to distributing it on social media.

I use my blog to centrally host the image and will often create a post with a mini lecture. Sometimes I’ll do an Instagram Live for the same purpose, save the video, use QuickTime to extract the audio, and trim it to encompass just the lecture.

I try to keep my workflow simple and spend most of the time on content. Drop me a comment below with questions! 🙂


  1. I try to keep findings new and reliable sources of knowledge, and I enjoy reading your posts because it is first hand experience. Thanks, sokol serjani bsn-rn, fnp.


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