Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2005 North Carolina Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Exploring the Other Side of Medicine: The Medical Humanities Art Program


 A.Gartner1, R.Ducas1, for the Medical Humanities Art Committee, B. Magwood1,2, presented by D. Moddemann1,2. 1.Faculty of Medicine, 2. Dept. of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba

 Objectives: To provide students with an opportunity to explore the human side of medicine through art. Also, to enhance the medical student's understanding of the impact of medical conditions on individuals and their families. This presentation will describe the program, explore the students' works of art, their reflections and commentaries by patients and the public.

Methods: This student driven initiative is organized as an extracurricular activity, in conjunction with the Medical Humanities program. Students meet to explore themes for study and decide on a final topic through consensus. Experts then discuss the condition through seminars. Students also meet in small groups with patients and families who are coping with the chosen condition. Through their narratives and discussions, the students explore the human experience and gain understanding of the impact of illness. With the help of artists, students then begin to explore the generated ideas, impressions and emotions, and transform these into art forms in a variety of media.

Results: The result has been four acclaimed Art Shows and booklets for the medical community and public: Images of Autism; Images of Infertility; Images of Addiction; and Body Image. Each work of art is accompanied by the individual student's personal reflections on health and illness. The results from Focus groups during the 2005 Art Show will highlight commentaries from student-artists, patients and the public.

Conclusions: The Medical Humanities Art Program provides a unique forum for medical students to explore pediatric and adult medicine through the broader context of the arts as students are challenged to experience conditions through the patients' and families' eyes. The annual Art Show allows them to share their experiences with the larger medical community and the public.