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Learning through Art in Medical Education

Chapter

Learning through Art in Medical Education

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Abstract

Medical Humanities approach is becoming an important action in the health curriculum. Art can play a central role in the training of care staff for the development of skills and for the humanization of the therapeutic path. The application of art as a tool for learning and its historical relationship with medicine can be a valid support for the development of skills such as observation, active listening, problem solving and empathy, useful for improving the profession and the relationship with the patient. It is possible to rediscover the link between art, medicine, and care to help health professionals to improve their activities and resilience. Particular methods such as that of the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) can help health students and professionals to become better actors in the care context.

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... Iconodiagnosis is the discipline that combines a medical and humanistic approach to provide a heuristic insight into the historical moment represented in the work of art by overlaying a presumable pathophysiological context. The concept of iconodiagnosis, first introduced in 1983 by a Harvard psychiatrist Anneliese Alma Pontius (Pontius, 1983) was later embraced by many medical doctors (e.g., Als et al., 2002;Ashrafian, 2018;Benedicenti et al., 2017;Bianucci et al., 2016;Bukvic & Elling, 2015;Charlier, 2007;Emery, 1996;Kluger, 2019) who recognized it as "an enjoyable exercise" of clinical reasoning (Kluger, 2020) and an invaluable tool in medical education (Ferrara, 2021). Here we use the iconodiagnostic approach to analyze two portraits of the Italian cleric and diplomat Cesare Alessandro Scaglia di Verrua made by Flemish Baroque artist Sir Anthony van Dyck exhibited at the National Gallery in London. ...
Article
Iconodiagnosis is the discipline that combines a medical and humanistic approach to provide a heuristic insight into the historical moment represented in the work of art by overlaying a presumable pathophysiological context. The concept of iconodiagnosis, first introduced in 1983 by a Harvard psychiatrist Anneliese Alma Pontius [Pontius, 1983] was later embraced by many medical doctors (e.g. [Bianucci et al., 2016; Benedicenti et al., 2017; Charlier, 2007; Als et al., 2002; Ashrafian, 2018; Kluger, 2019; Bukvic and Elling, 2015; Emery, 1996]) who recognized it as „an enjoyable exercise“ of clinical reasoning [Kluger, 2020] and an invaluable tool in medical education [Ferrara, 2021]. Here we use the iconodiagnostic approach to analyze two portraits of the Italian cleric and diplomat Cesare Alessandro Scaglia di Verrua made by Flemish Baroque artist Sir Anthony van Dyck exhibited at the National Gallery in London.
... Aside from primary and secondary education [54][55][56][57][58], art-based learning has been discussed and empirically underpinned for various professional disciplines such as medical education [59][60][61][62][63], nursing education [30,[64][65][66], pedagogics [67][68][69][70], and management education [29,33,39,[71][72][73][74][75]. ...
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Medical education research demonstrates that empathic behaviour is amenable to positive change when targeted through educational programmes. This study evaluates the impact of an arts-based intervention designed to nurture learner empathy through the provision of facilitated visual literacy activities. Health Sciences students (N=19) were assigned to two learning groups: a group that participated in a visual literacy programme at the McMaster Museum of Art and a control group that participated in the normal Health Sciences curriculum. All participants completed an inter-reactivity index, which measures empathy on affective and cognitive levels, prior to and following the programme. Those individuals assigned to the visual literacy programme also completed open-ended questions concerning the programme's impact on their empathic development. The index scores were subjected to independent within-group, between-test analyses. There was no significant impact of the programme on the participants' overall empathic response. However, sub-component analyses revealed that the programme had a significant positive effect on cognitive aspects of empathy. This finding was substantiated by the narrative reports. The study concludes that the affective focus of humanities-based education needs to be enhanced and recommends that learners are educated on the different components that comprise the overall empathic response. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.
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Planned changes to the MCAT exam and the premedical course requirements are intended to enable the assessment of humanistic characteristics and, thus, to select students who are more likely to become physicians who can communicate and relate with patients and engage in ethical decision making. Identifying students who possess humanistic and communication skills is an important goal, but the changes being implemented may not be sufficient to evaluate key personality traits that characterize well-rounded, thoughtful, empathic, and respectful physicians.The author argues that consideration should be given to assessing prospective students' tolerance for ambiguity as part of the admission process. Several strategies are proposed for implementing and evaluating such an assessment. Also included in this paper is an overview of the conceptual and empirical literature on tolerance for ambiguity among physicians and medical students, its impact on patient care, and the attention it is given in medical education. This evidence suggests that if medical schools admitted students who possess a high tolerance for ambiguity, quality of care in ambiguous conditions might improve, imbalances in physician supply and practice patterns might be reduced, the humility necessary for moral character formation might be enhanced, and the increasing ambiguity in medical practice might be better acknowledged and accepted.
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ContextClinical diagnosis involves the observation, description, and interpretation of visual information. These skills are also the special province of the visual arts. We describe an educational collaboration between a medical school and an art museum, designed for the purpose of developing student skills in observation, description, and interpretation.Objectives In the programme, medical students first examine painted portraits, under the tutelage of art educators and medical school faculty. Then, the students examine photographs of patients’ faces and apply the same skills.Conclusion This programme, well-received by students and faculty, appeared to help the students not only in improving their empirical skills in observation, but also in developing increased awareness of emotional and character expression in the human face.
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Using the current international debate surrounding the incorporation of medical humanities into medical curricula as a starting point, the authors address both the legitimacy and didactics of teaching medical humanities to medical students. They highlight the paradox of the increasing prevalence of medical humanities in medical curricula and the often critical reception humanities courses receive. The alleged lack of empirical evidence linking such courses with improved patient care cannot alone explain the criticism they engender. After a short overview of the debate surrounding medical humanities and their inclusion in outcomes-based education, the authors outline the medical humanities block, "The History, Theory, and Ethics of Medicine," which is part of the German medical curriculum. A model developed at Ulm University exemplifies the integrated inclusion of the heterogeneous aspects of medical culture into medical education. This model emphasizes a reflexive approach (i.e., understanding how the humanities are manifested in medicine) as an alternative to the currently dominant narrative approach (i.e., liberal arts, moral development, and/or mental retreat), which has gradually been limited to a quasi-"secular religion" for doctors. This model uses established concepts from science and cultural studies as the "instruments" for seminars and courses; paradigms, discourses, social systems, and cosmologies constitute the tools for teaching and learning about the historical, theoretical, and ethical dimensions of medicine. The authors argue that this approach both precludes the need to justify the medical humanities and overcomes the dichotomy that has heretofore existed between the two cultures of science and the humanities in medicine.
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( This reprinted article originally appeared in Science, 1977, Vol 196[4286], 129–236. The following abstract of the original article appeared in PA, Vol 59:1423. ) Although it seems that acceptance of the medical model by psychiatry would finally end confusion about its goals, methods, and outcomes, the present article argues that current crises in both psychiatry and medicine as a whole stem from their adherence to a model of disease that is no longer adequate for the work and responsibilities of either field. It is noted that psychiatrists have responded to their crisis by endorsing 2 apparently contradictory positions, one that would exclude psychiatry from the field of medicine and one that would strictly adhere to the medical model and limit the work of psychiatry to behavioral disorders of an organic nature. Characteristics of the dominant biomedical model of disease are identified, and historical origins and limitations of this reductionistic view are examined. A biopsychosocial model is proposed that would encompass all factors related to both illness and patienthood. Implications for teaching and health care delivery are considered.
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