Arts & Humanities in Medical & Health Education

Evidence Based Studies on Arts & Humanities in Medical Education

It is widely acknowledged that Arts & Humanities courses in medical education enhance the skills of health care professionals.

See below references to evidence based studies on this subject:

Year  Citation

Academic Medicine 2011; 86(10): 1266-1271
Klugman, C, Peel, J, Beckmann-Mendez, D. Art Rounds: Teaching Interprofessional Students Visual Thinking Strategies at One School.


Journal of Graduate Medical Education: Dec 2011; 3(4): 546-549
Gaufberg, EG and Williams, MR. Reflection in a Museum Setting: The Personal Responses Tour.


Academic Medicine 86 (10) (October): 1272–1276. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e31822c161d.
Schaff, Pamela B, Suzanne Isken, and Robert M Tager. 2011. “From Contemporary Art to Core Clinical Skills: Observation, Interpretation, and Meaning-Making in a Complex Environment.”

2011 Medical Education 2011: 45: 141-148
The effectiveness of arts-based interventions in medical education: a literature review
 2009 Med Humanit 2009; 35:47-53.
Matharu K. Using indigenous Australian drama to break cultural barriers in healthcare relationships
 2008 J Gen Intern Med 2008; 23:991-7.
Nagshineh S, Hafler JP, Miller AR, Blanco MA, Lipsitz SR, Dubroff RP, Khoshbin S, Katz JT. Formal art observation training improves medical students' visual diagnostic skill.
 2007 Nurse Educ Pract. 2008 May;8(3):156-64. epub 2007 Jul 12.
McKie A, Adams V, Gass JP, Macduff C.  School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health and Social Care, The Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Campus, Aberdeen, AB10 9QG Scotland, United Kingdom. Windows and mirrors: reflections of a module team teaching the arts in nurse education.
 2006 Lancet 2006;368 (Suppl):15-6.
Willson S. What can the arts bring to medical training?
  Med Edu 2006;40:1180-7.
Ishikawa H, Hashimoto H, Kinoshita M, Fujimori S, Shimizu T, Yano E. Evaluating medical students' non-verbal communication during the objective structured clinical examination.
  Med Edu 2006;40:263-8.
Shapiro J, Ruckner L, Beck J. Training the clinical eye and mind: using the arts to develop medical students' observational and pattern recognition skills.
 2005 Med Edu 2005;39:622-31.
Rosenbaum ME, Ferguson KJ, Herwaldt LA. In their own words: presenting the patient's perspective using research-based theatre.
  Patient Edu Couns 2005;57:262-71.
Gallagher TJ, Hartung PJ, Gerzina H, Gregory SW, Merolla D.  Further analysis of a doctor-patient non-verbal communication instrument.
 2004 Acad Med 2004;79:481-6.
Lorenz KA, Steckart MJ, Rosenfeld KE. End-of-life education using the dramatic arts: the Wit educational initiative.
  Humanit 2004;30:98-100.
Jacobsen L, Grant A, Hood K, Lewis W, Robling M, Prout H, Cunningham AM. 
A literature and medicine special study module run by academics in general practice: two evaluations and the lessons learned.
 2003 Acad Med 2003;78:963-7.
Bonebakker V. Literature and medicine: humanities at the Heart of Health Care: a hospital-based reading and discussion programme developed by the Maine Humanities Council.
  Med Educ 2003;37:553-9.
Lazarus PA, Rosslyn FM. The arts in medicine: settign up and evaluating a new special study module at Leicester Warwick Medical School.
  Med Educ 2003;37:922-7.
Shapiro J, Hunt H. All the world's a stage: the use of theatrical performance in medical education.
  Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials, 2nd ed. London: Sage Publications 2003;60-184.
Silverman D. Analysing talk and text.  In: Denzin NK, Lincoln YS, eds.
   Acad Med 2003;78-987-92.
Coulehan J, Belling C, Williams PC, Van McCrary S, Vetrano M. Human contexts: medicine in society at Stony Brook University School of Medicine.
  Acad Med 2003;78:977-81.
Krackov SK, Levin RI, Catanese V et al.  Medical humanities at New York University School of Medicine: an array of rich programmes in diverse settings. 
   Acad Med 2003;78:973-6.
Sirridge M, Welch K.  The programme in medical humanities at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.
   Acad Med 2003;78:953-7.
Shapiro J, Ruckner L. Can poety make better doctors? Teaching the humanities and arts to medical students and residents at the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine.
  Med Humanit 2003;29:43-5.
Lewis W, Grant A. 'The dark side of the spectrum...' a 'day of suffering' for medical students.
  Acad Med 2003;78:1048-53.
Kirklin D. The Centre for Medical Humanities, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, England.
 2002 Med Educ 2002;36:1071-6.
Lancaster T, Hart R, Gardner S. Literature and medicine: evaluating a special study module using the nominal group technique.
  Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill 2002;34-176.
Esterberg KG. Qualitative Methods in Social Research.
 2001 Med Educ 2001;35-1157-61.
Bardes CL, Gillers D, Herman AE. Learning to look: developing clinical observation skills at an art museum.
  JAMA 2001;286:1020-1.
Dolev JC, Krohner L, Braverman IM. Use of fine art to enhance visual diagnostic skills. (
  Patient Educ Couns 2001;45:35-42.
de Haes JCJM, Oort F, Oosterveld P, ten Cate O.  Assessment of medical students' communicative behaviour and attitudes: estimating and reliability of the use of the Amsterdam Attitudes and Communication Scale through generalisability coefficients.
 2000 Lancet 2000;356:2001-3.
Skelton JR, Macleod JAA, Thomas CP. Teaching literature and medicine to medical students part II: why literature and medicine?
  Med Humanit 2000;26:51-4.
Kirklin D, Meakin R, Singh S, Lloyd M.  Living with and dying from cancer: a humanities special study module.
 1998 Acad Med 1998;73 (Suppl.):94-6.
Boulet JR, Ben-David MF, Ziv A, Burdick WP, Curtis M, Peitzman S, Gary NE. Using standardised patients to access the interpersonal skills of physicians.

Med Educ 1997;31:276-80.
Downie RS, Hendry RA, Macnaughton RJ, Smith BH.  Humanising medicine: a special study module.

  Med Educ 1997;31:49-51.
Macnaughton RJ. Special study modules: an opportunity not to be missed.
 1995 Ann Intern Med 1995;122:599-606.
Charon R, Banks JT, Connelly JE, Hawkins AH, Hunter KM, Jones AH, Montello M, Poirer S. Literature and medicine: contributions to clinical practice.
 1994 BMJ 1994;309:1671-2.
Weatherall DJ. The inhumanity of medicine.
 1980 J Med Educ 1980;55:215.
Stokes J. Grief and the performing arts: a brief experiment in humanising medical education.
 1978 Report no. 15. Marketing Communications Research Centre. 1978. [Accessed 12 Jun 2009.]
Mostyn BJ. The attitude-behaviour relationship.
 1957 J Med Educ 1957;32:255-62.
Schmidt AW.  Medicine and the liberal arts.



Dr Carl Vaughan well known cardiologist and artist exhibiting at the Jennings Gallery with Fiona Kearney, Director of Lewis Glucksman Gallery and Dr Michael Murphy, President UCC

Arts in Medical Education

Many medical schools provide Arts & Humanities programmes as part of students' medical education. 

Yale School of Medicine, in partnership with Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven - The Patient-Doctor Relationship

London School of Medicine & Dentistry, and School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University led by the Clod Ensemble Theatre Company of London - Performance Medicine*, in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - Art of Observation

Emory University, Atlanta, GA USA - Beauty and Treatment

University of Pittsburgh, PA USA - Art & Medicine
Mt Sinai School of Medicine, NY USA in collaboration with the Carnegie and Warhol museums, students examine artworks and apply the art of looking - Art of Observation

Tulane Medical School, New Orleans, LA USA - Art of Observation, Art & Medicine

Cornell University, Weill Medical School, Ithaca, NY USA in association with the Frick Collection

Dalhouise University, Canada Dalhouise's Medical Humanities Program

Close X