Dartmouth is launching a pilot program using art to teach medical students the power of observation when making a diagnosis:
Observe. Analyze. Interpret. Decide. Explain. These were the general directions given to Dartmouth Medical School students on a recent trip to Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art. The visit was part of a pilot program that promotes the power of observation in making diagnoses.
“I had heard of programs at other medical schools that used art interaction to aid in patient interaction,” said Joe O’Donnell, the senior advising dean at Dartmouth Medical School and a member of the DMS class of 1971. “I thought that we could duplicate that program here, and put our Dartmouth stamp on it.”
He connected with Stephen Plume, an artist and a DMS professor of surgery, and they reached out to the Hood’s Director, Brian Kennedy. Soon they began working with Vivian Ladd and Lesley Wellman, both in the education department at the museum, to develop a program that would cultivate the simple, yet often nuanced, ability to notice things, whether it be in a painting or in a patient. During the month of May, they implemented two pilot workshops at the museum that sparked some thoughtful comments from participants.
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