Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: Medicine and the Art of Observation
Monday | Wednesday: 9:30 - 11:00am
Increasingly over the past 20 years, medical schools have started to integrate art observation courses into their curricula. The visual tools of art history–observation and questioning; careful, critical looking; and noticing details in relation to the whole–have been shown to improve diagnostic skills. Moreover, recent studies demonstrate that art observation can increase empathy, combat burn out, and confront implicit bias, helping medical students become more comfortable with ambiguity and improving communication. This class will work to define the place of art historical scholarship within the medical humanities. We will read and analyze articles from both medical and art historical journals. As this is the second course in the reading and composition series, students will practice translating their careful observations into well-crafted arguments. At least one writing assignment will require a visit to the de Young museum to write on an original artwork. Students will conclude the course by writing a 10 to 12 page paper based on research and visual analysis.