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2013-14
Creative Medicine Series

A four-part lecture series examining and celebrating the link between medicine and the arts


Within the field of medicine, patients and healers face complex medical and social issues daily. Through creative and other non-traditional methods, the arts and humanities can engage individuals and permit new and original angles for the examination of these issues. Healers are expected to provide clinically sound, humane and patient-centered care. To fulfill such aspirations, physicians must be mindful of social and cultural values, and finely tuned to the range of expectations and narrative factors that may complicate the illness experience. Health care providers need to be sensitive interpreters and communicators, appreciate the values, biases and fears in the communities we serve as well as in ourselves, and understand our roles as healers when many competing pressures can wear down the most caring of practitioners. Diagnosing and treating disease is often the easy part. The challenge of breaking down people into understandable pieces can be harder than sequencing DNA, especially in the pressured space of the Emergency Department. 

Clinical acumen and compassion both depend upon imagination, the ability to read patients, probe silences, and respond creatively. Legendary physician/educator William Osler said medicine is an art, but does that mean medicine is practiced by artists? The answer to that question is an emphatic yes. But what does it mean to be a physician/artist, and how are the skills cultivated by artistic work useful, if at all, in the work of doctoring?

Regardless of the form of expression—poems or novels, oils or sculpting, film or music or dance—physicians who work seriously in the arts are often driven by different motivations or passions. Is to heal ourselves? Or to find acceptable vehicles for expressing the extreme range of emotions encountered in caring for patients? Or to maintain a tight hold on our humanity while being pounded by business and medical-legal pressures? Perhaps the need to create is entirely separate from the doctoring work. The products are completely unrelated. But is the membrane dividing these two lives as impermeable as it may appear?

Medical humanities and arts are terms often cited but not readily understood. We would ask our guests to share their work, describe how their artistic selves have informed their clinical work and vice versa, and help us explore, examine and better understand this mysterious and fascinating relationship between medicine, healing, and the arts.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Emergency Medicine, the Creative Arts Council, and the Cogut Center for the Humanities.


Visit the Clinical Arts and Humanities Program website for more information on the applied humanities program in place at the Alpert Medical School.


Schedule of Events:

 

February 12, 2014
"Discovery, Diagnosis and Dignity: Interpreting Narratives of Health and Justice"

with Liz Tobin Tyler, JD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine &
Health Services, Policy and Practice
Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University
Brown University School of Public Health

Pembroke Hall 305
172 Meeting Street
5:30 - 7:00pm

For a copy of this poster.


April 23, 2014
"Renovating the Brain"

with Jon A. Mukand, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics
Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University

Pembroke Hall 305
172 Meeting Street
5:30 - 7:00pm


Fall 2013 Lectures:

September 25, 2013
"Medicine Through a New Lens: Revolutionary Lessons from the Works of Frederic Chopin"

with Steven Rougas, MD
Emergency Medicine
Rhode Island Hospital and Miriam Hospital
Alpert Medical School

Pembroke Hall 305
172 Meeting Street
5:30 - 7:00pm

For a copy of this poster.

Visit the photo gallery of this event.



October 9, 2013
"Plotless Stories and Poor Historians:  Hypochondria's Challenge to Illness Narrative"

with Catherine Belling
Assistant Professor in Medical Humanities
and Bioethics
at Northwestern University

Pembroke Hall 305
172 Meeting Street
5:30 - 7:00pm

For a copy of this poster.