Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, continues to make advances in the field of Art and Medicine. This Spring 2017 semester she will continue to teach The Art of Examination course through UT Southwestern Medical School with faculty partners Heather Wickless, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, UTSW; Amanda Blake, Interim Director of Education, Dallas Museum of Art; and Courtney Crothers, UTSW Art Curator.
The Art of Examination is a preclinical elective focusing on developing skills for clinical diagnosis through looking at works of art. Through experiences with artwork, students in the course improve visual literacy skills, which is the ability to observe, analyze, interpret, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image and relates to both examining patients as well as artwork. The course uses the power of art to promote the analysis and communication necessary in addressing ambiguity in the physical exam and patient interaction.
The class discusses factors influencing what we see, and how we interpret visual information. Other topics include conservation, artists with disease, empathy, physician burnout and cultural influences, with their implications for medical practice. Participants will cultivate habits of close observation, inspection, and cognitive reflections to shape his or her early medical career. Students will learn to synthesize observations and one’s own knowledge and experiences as well as an awareness of the collaborative thinking process of the group, a skill vital to successful clinical practice.
The class will engage students in discussions, drawing and writing exercises, lectures, and interactive experiences that will foster communication. This is not an art history class and students need no previous training in art to participate. The course meets in accordance with the schedule at The Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, The Warehouse, The Crow Collection of Asian Art, and UT Southwestern Medical Campus.