art classes…at med school?
Bloody hell! Thank goodness!
It appears that the world of medicine is finally catching on to the value of experiencing and understanding art more and more. Through both observing and experiencing art, med students in the US, are learning about cognitive bias, observation, enquiry and mental health. These experiences are assisting students to put themselves into the shoes of artists to get a sense of who they are, their story and what they were feeling while painting. This process helps students develop the necessary communication and empathy skills required by medical staff….that are often lacking (to put it politely).
Now, don’t get me wrong, not ALL medical staff are guilty of being offensive, rude, abrupt and cold. Recent studies have shown us that medical professionals are under incredible stress and experiencing large rates of mental health concerns within the industry also. That actually sucks really hard! If you are, or know someone in this position please contact Beyond Bluefor support. We appreciate you!
On the flip side… burn out, or for some, just lack of people skills, can cause serious harm to their patients mental health. Professionally, I have spent some significant time within mental health facilities and have been forced to advocate for clients basic emotional wellbeing and agency…fiercely…and often.
Progress within the academic world around this topic is exciting, innovative and vital.
The power of language and genuine human contact is often underestimated. And when you’re interacting with anyone who is already feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed or raw…simple interactions can cause serious and deadly wounds. One clumsy dismissal, can lead to violent self criticism.
Art of any kind can have a holistic impact on us. It penetrates through rational logical thinking and permeates our imagination, memories and emotional mind, down to the cells within our body. Art can stimulate felt experiences, that can touch us deeply. It’s because of its experiential nature that art assists us to develop empathy and therefore compassion for others. It can connect us intimately beyond every day dialogue.
So, go immerse yourselves in art, it will assist develop your emotional intelligence! And lets all take this as a friendly reminder to interact with people gently. You never frickin know what someone is experiencing quietly on the inside.
If you’re interested in learning more about the med school program I’m referring to, I learnt about it here.