Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The New Art of Medicine - Art in Medical Schools

Art therapy is a well established therapeutic modality, helping people recover from a wide range of physical and emotional difficulties, but art education for their doctors is a relatively new idea. It's not aimed at helping doctors manage their own health problems (though that's not a bad idea either) but rather at helping doctors understand what illness is like for their patients.
Artwork by Ted Meyer from his
Structural Abnormalities series

The Huffington Post recently published an article about Ted Meyer who has been guest artist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA  for the past 5 years. Ted's story of the artistic crisis that occurred for him when he discovered he was not, after all, going to die at 30 is interesting in itself, but the story of the work he does with medical students is even more fascinating

This new way of thinking is even having an impact on the way prospective students in medical schools are being assessed. Dr Salvatore Mangione, Associate Professor of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University says in an interview with Forbes Magazine in 2013  (you can read it here) that "artistic and visual skills may enhance the ability of a student to excel in medical school and become a successful physician in practice." Interestingly it is suggested that the right brain's visual and imagery skills have been made more important by the visual emphasis of the digital age.

Read the Huffington Post story here and let us know if you are aware of any other similar initiatives in Australian medical schools.

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