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      Learning to look: developing clinical observational skills at an art museum

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      Medical Education

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Clinical 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. 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. 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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          Seeing patients and life contexts: the visual arts in medical education.

          In many ways, the practice of medicine has been a visual science from the time of the early Renaissance anatomists to the high-speed scanners of today. But images of patients and their anatomical parts do not necessarily lead to an understanding of their problems. Meaning must follow the sensory experience and be coupled with reflection. The visual arts, therefore, can be used to help physicians in training increase their observational and interpretive skills. Works by classic and contemporary artists can be used to increase awareness of the complex nature of human beings and their conditions, which lie beneath the appearances. In addition to painting, television, motion pictures, and printed media may also be used in classroom settings to educate. Medical schools that do not have accessible fine arts or humanities programs may form allegiances with local artists to increase communication and understanding between these disciplines.
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            Visual Art in the Neurologic Career of Jean-Martin Charcot

             C Goetz (1991)
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              Author and article information

              Journal
              MEDUD2
              Medical Education
              Med Educ
              Wiley
              0308-0110
              1365-2923
              December 2001
              December 2001
              : 35
              : 12
              : 1157-1161
              Article
              10.1046/j.1365-2923.2001.01088.x
              11895244
              © 2001

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