To recognize and value creative expression as essential to health, healing and humanistic care.
Art is good medicine for both the artist and the observer. Art is used in the curriculum at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix to help medical students sharpen their skills in observation and description, foster critical thinking and improve communication skills. Medical students are challenged to explore the range of human emotion and perception of the world as conveyed visually. Through partnerships with museums — such as the Phoenix Art Museum — our students are offered programs in structured observation of artworks and discussion of fine arts concepts with the goal of improving their visual diagnostic skills and communication skills to ultimately enhance patient care. Medical students are challenged to explore the range of human emotion and perception of the world as conveyed visually.
To use artwork to improve the relationship between physicians and patients by:
- Improving observation, perception and communication skills.
- Improving visual diagnostic skills.
- Practicing skills in a different context and outside of content area.
- Distinguishing between appreciation and preference.
- Understanding personal bias.
- And learning to see in order to heal.
To provide a meaningful connection between the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix and the surrounding community by:
- Offering partner organizations a space to publicly display their work.
- Providing partner organizations an opportunity to be involved in a cutting-edge program that is capturing widespread attention.
- Introducing local artists to new audiences.
- Art in Medicine: Structured Observation of Artworks Toward Enhanced Patient Care (PDF) by Cynthia Standley, PhD.
- International Association of Medical Science Educators, Poster Presentation (San Diego, June 2015).
Awards and Highlights
- Governor's Arts Award – Art in Medicine Program Wins a 2021 Governor’s Arts Award.
- Excellence in Educational Innovation Award, College of Medicine – Phoenix.
- Best of the Valley, Phoenix Magazine – Editor's Picks for Best of the Valley 2021: Lifestyle and Entertainment.