Medical students in the UT Southwestern – UT Dallas course Art of Examination are on the go this semester learning how to look at art using the collections of Dallas’s premier art collections. Classes having been taking place between The Dallas Museum of Art, The Warehouse, Nasher Sculpture Center, The Crow Collection of Asian Art, and Clements Hospital. Lessons address mindfulness, collaboration, and interpretation with exercises on slowing down to spend time looking at works of art, looking and communicating as a team, and creating multiple interpretations to generate new ideas.
The Art of Examination is a preclinical elective focusing on developing skills for clinical diagnosis through looking at works of art. Through experiences with artworks, students in the course improve visual literacy skills, which are 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 artworks. 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 Art of Examination is taught by Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, UT Dallas; Heather Wickless, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, UTSW; Amanda Blake, Interim Director of Education, Dallas Museum of Art; and Courtney Crothers, UTSW Art Curator.