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ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 563

A program to interest medical students in Changhua, Taiwan in the incorporation of visual arts in medicine


The Center for Medical Humanities, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
K T Yang
The Center for Medical Humanities, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua
Taiwan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 22267351

Introduction: Visual arts have been used to facilitate the teaching of the United States Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies used in some countries. Some medical students may not appreciate the usefulness of incorporating arts in medical education. Therefore, arts programs that can interest medical students are necessary. We initiated and evaluated a visual arts program at the Changhua Christian Hospital in Changhua, Taiwan, with an aim to give the students a short review of visual arts and to interest them in the incorporation of arts in medicine. Methods: A total of 110 students in clerkship or internship participated in a visual arts program with emphasis on medicine-related visual arts. Content analysis of the data from the notes made by the instructor from direct observation of students' descriptions during discussions and the written feedback from students at the end of the program was used to evaluate the effect of the program. Anonymous questionnaires were also used for self-assessment of students. Results: Qualitative analysis of the data revealed that the course was interesting to students. Themes emerged including its helpfulness to students in interpreting paintings, enhanced empathy, increased cultural awareness, enhanced observational skills, better team work, listening and communication skills and reduced stress. Ratings on the questionnaire showed similar results. Moreover, students had an increase in their confidence and desire to interpret paintings. Conclusion: The structured visual arts program, with emphasis on medicine-related visual arts and other humanities subjects, was able to attract the attention of medical students. It might be helpful to improve the required skills of ACGME competencies, but further studies are needed to support these conclusions.


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