UA College of Medicine – Phoenix


UA College of Medicine – Phoenix harnesses creativity to improve patient care.

Engagement with the arts can make great physicians even better. That’s the motivation behind the arts engagement programs that UA College of Medicine – Phoenix has in place for students and the medical community.

picture1A staple of the Program of Narrative Medicine is the Arts & Humanities Journal of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, called CHART – an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed and juried, journal devoted to sharing the insights and experiences of the Phoenix medical community. Published annually, CHART showcases original works of personal expression, including art, essays, ideas, photographs, poetry and prose submitted by members of the Phoenix Biomedical community. A printed version of the journal is also available for purchase on Amazon.

The UA College of Medicine – Phoenix also introduced its Program of Art and Medicine to challenge medical students to explore the range of human emotion and perception of the world as conveyed visually. Recently, the Program of Art in Medicine and the University of Arizona Museum of Art (UAMA) began a partnership in the fall of 2015, a mutually beneficial relationship providing students deeper engagement with their own creative expression.

Through this partnership faculty, students and staff are offered an opportunity for structured observation of artworks and discussion of fine arts concepts with the goal of bolstering their visual diagnostic and communication skills, ultimately enhancing patient care. Current artwork on display includes Martin Luther King Dr.: Honoring an American Hero – a stunning photography exhibit by Susan Berger. Berger embarked on trips around the country to photograph streets that have been renamed to honor Martin Luther King Blvd.

Another aspect of the program involves art journaling. By journaling and reflecting on the entries of others, students can achieve a greater understanding of themselves and their purpose in medicine, while also enhancing their appreciation of the patients they treat.

“Art is good medicine for both the artist and the observer. Art is used in the curriculum at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix to help medical students sharpen their skills in observation and description, foster critical thinking and improve communication skills.”

Cynthia Standley, Ph.D., Director, Program of Art in Medicine at UA College of Medicine – Phoenix


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