EP 8 – First Stop

In this episode, I’m having a timely conversation with Dr. Barry Thomas Malin, a head and neck surgeon turned art gallerist (the Malin Gallery), about switching careers and following your passions. Now more than ever people are reevaluating their careers and asking themselves the important question of am I satisfied in my work. Dr. Malin reflected on this same question when he decided to leave his career as a sought-after free flap construction surgeon and open his own art gallery. We talk about the intricacies and challenges of being a free flap surgeon and what ultimately led him to quit his job. Dr. Malin shares about his journey into the art world and what it is like to manage an art gallery. Later in the episode, we hear a fictional story written by Jared K. Chapman about a young man’s journey to living life to the fullest.

[01:20] Barry shares about his medical education and early career and when he decided to change careers 

[07:42] Why choose art as a second career and the irony of a career in free flap construction

[12:35] How Barry started his art collection and the meaning behind the original art gallery name

[16:31] Malin Art Gallery and the backstory on its original name

[20:21] What kind of artists and art is represented at Malin Gallery and challenges of being an art gallery owner

[25:00] The post-covid phenomenon of people making career changes

[28:17] FICTION: A hospital visit leaves a young man grappling to honor his Papa’s death-bed bucket list

[35:34] At his Papa’s funeral, this young man realizes the true meaning of his Papa’s last wishes


A career as a free flap surgeon takes years to train for but studies show the average career length, meaning the time that people spend doing this almost exclusively, is only six or seven years. It’s a young person’s game, both from a physical and a mental standpoint.

Following your passion and switching careers can be terrifying. Now more than ever people are reevaluating their jobs and making appropriate changes.

People don’t normally reflect on their own mortality but in Barry’s previous career it was an everyday conversation. He would often shift the focus from death to living by asking questions like what is most important in life and what is most satisfying. He took his own advice when he decided to switch from medicine to art.

Fiction Credits: 
Fiction piece narrated by: Regina Williams
Fiction piece was written by: Jared Chapman – Los Angeles
Dr. Barry Thomas Malin founded Malin Gallery in 2015. Originally named Burning in Water, Malin Gallery actively represents a diverse roster of living artists. The curatorial program combines exhibitions by roster artists with historically-oriented shows, particularly of work by previously under-recognized artists. The gallery’s progressive approach to curation has earned it a reputation in both introducing and re-introducing important artists to a NY audience. Malin Gallery exhibitions have been reviewed in multiple national publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, The Wall Street Journal, ARTnews, Time Out – New York, Galerie, The San Francisco Chronicle, The London Review of Books and Artnet News. 
Malin Gallery Website
Malin Gallery Facebook Page
Malin Gallery on Instagram
Malin Gallery on Twitter

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