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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77  

Can incorporating art into medical education help medical students become better doctors?

Sr. Consultant Cardiologist, Director, HH Publications and Executive Coordinator for Research, Director, Non-Invasive Cardiology 1981 - 2014, Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Date of Web Publication30-Jun-2016

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1995-705X.185120

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How to cite this article:
Hajar R. Can incorporating art into medical education help medical students become better doctors?. Heart Views 2016;17:77

How to cite this URL:
Hajar R. Can incorporating art into medical education help medical students become better doctors?. Heart Views [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Mar 20];17:77. Available from: https://www.heartviews.org/text.asp?2016/17/2/77/185120

More and more medical schools are integrating the humanities into their curriculum. It used to be that excellence in a strictly science-related background increased the probability of gaining entrance into medical school. But traditional medical training, focused on bioscience, is failing to provide the human, emotional and practical skills doctors need to deal with everyday tragedy. It is felt that exposure to the humanities and the arts may remedy the situation. Exposure to arts and humanities may enhance a student's ability to excel in medical school and become a successful physician in practice.

Advances in science and technology have illuminated the molecular and genetic underpinnings of many disease processes, but have not led to a concomitant understanding of other aspects of illness. The electronic health record - a repository of information – creates additional barriers between doctor and patient. Although the patient is at the center of every encounter the complexity of medical practice today often leaves patients feeling that their doctors don't know them as individuals. Studies have demonstrated that medical students tend to experience a reduction in empathy towards patients as their clinical training progresses.

One approach which has been demonstrated to be effective in helping medical students retain empathy and deepen understanding of the human condition is an arts-based medical curriculum. There is robust evidence that the arts – storytelling, writing, dance, theater, music, literature, and visual arts - can help deepen reflection and understanding of the human aspect of medical practice. The arts and humanities can enhance students' abilities to be human, live well, experience loss, encounter disease, and engage in a therapeutic relationship.

Hopefully, incorporating arts and humanities in the undergraduate years of a medical student will produce empathic physicians of tomorrow.

This article has been cited by
1 What is the Role of the Arts in Medical Education and Patient Care? A Survey-based Qualitative Study
Susan E. Pories,Sorbarikor Piawah,Gregory A. Abel,Samyukta Mullangi,Jennifer Doyle,Joel T. Katz
Journal of Medical Humanities. 2018;
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