Art in Medicine
By: Anna Vardapetyan
Because of all the science-oriented, standardized exams that medical-aspiring students have to take, you would think that medicine is solely a science-oriented field: understanding the biology behind a disease, interpreting the test results of patients, recording the patient’s outcomes, etc. While this is certainly true, medicine is much more interdisciplinary than it may seem. The fact of the matter is that medicine primarily revolves around the communication of one person to another and having the emotional bandwidth to deal with the struggles and joys of life. Medicine isn’t totally left-brained after all. Emotional intelligence goes hand in hand with the medical education we must receive.
Art is the study of the self-expression of humans. It’s a form of self-reflection and self-identification, which is why it is a common tool used by therapists. Art helps us understand the world and what makes us human. In medicine, it allows us to see the patients we treat as more than just a statistic. In fact, this way of thinking could lead to improvements in healthcare and healthcare outcomes. By viewing the patient as a whole, we can learn to become more thoughtful and to listen better to our patients and their needs. By listening and understanding our patients, physicians and practicing healthcare professionals can become better critical thinkers and people of the world.
Medicine is a powerful and interesting field, because it lies right in the middle of two seemingly unrelated subjects; you couldn’t have medicine without art and vice versa. Here’s how I like to think of it: science and the advancement of technology is pivotal for the growth of our future, and various forms of art (literature, theatre, music, dance, painting, etc.) are the ways in which we understand the past. When put together, you have the present, which is where we and medicine should all be.
This is why the National AMWA Premedical Division is happy to announce that we are encouraging our members to showcase their talent and self-reflections. We have launched a project titled Art for Advocacy, where we encourage anyone comfortable with sharing their inventions – whether it be a poem, painting, collection of photographs, or any other form of art – to submit their work(s) via a google form in hopes of spreading happiness to viewers. We also have launched 2 new committees (Music and Medicine and Dance, Theatre, and Medicine) this past summer to encourage and encompass all our members’ unique artistic talents!