Monday, March 19, 2007

Art in medical curriculum

Interesting news...


Giskin said...

Sabrina, welcome to the blog! Thanks for picking up on this. It reminds me of a talk at a conference a few years ago about a programme that involved taking medical students round an art museum and asking them to describe what they see (labels were covered so that the observation was undirected).

I could see how this was an interesting teaching tool, but I wasn't entirely convinced that it wasn't a bit of a gimmick. Are you supposed to 'diagnose' the people in the painting or is it merely an act of looking and describing?

I am opposed to diagnosing subjects in art. Apart from veterinary medicine, the idea that diagnosis should be encouraged based purely on visual characteristics downplays the value of the patient's story and also the sense of touch. Unless we know for sure that the subject of the art was ill, looking for pathology is surely a matter of speculation.

I think life drawing must have a lot of value in thinking about the body's structure. I also liked the part in the story about dissecting a green pepper. This had some obvious practical uses in relating observation to description.

What's your take on this Sabrina? Have you found that looking at art and films is useful from an observation point of view, or is it the content that counts?

Medical Illustrator said...

I tried to read the news article but was unable to access without a user ID and password. Any help?

Giskin said...

Hi Medical Illustrator. This article used to be freely available but the link seems to have expired. Could you send me your e-mail address (to giskin at blueyonder dot co dot uk) and I'll try to track it down elsewhere?