The Art of the Human Body with Baylor College of Medicine
Taught by MFAH Education staff and Dr. Ashok Balasubramanyam, this six-session elective uses the visual arts to strengthen and broaden the understanding of the human body. The course focuses heavily on improving observation skills, especially in terms of recognizing subtlety, symmetry and the effects of color, and reinforces the ability to articulate those observations accurately. Issues of ambiguity, bias and empathy are also addressed, and students have the opportunity to participate in a figure drawing session led by a MFAH instructor.
The Art of Observation with The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
This three-session elective was developed in 2001 and now is a partnership between the MFAH and the John P. McGovern, M.D. Center for Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston(UTHSC). The course is designed to enhance the observation skills of first and second year medical students attending the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. By examining works of art in the collection and medical photographs of UTHSC patients, students learn how to make better observations and improve the ability to articulate their findings. The course is co-taught by MFAH Education staff and practicing physicians, and each session gives students the chance to look at original works of art and bridge their medical training to the museum experience.
The Art of Observation course has been mentioned in numerous local newspaper articles and will be discussed at the upcoming 2011 American Association of Museums conference.
The Art of Assessment with Lone Star College-Montgomery Nursing Program
Each student involved in this program comes to the MFAH for every semester that he or she is enrolled in the Nursing Program at Lone Star College-Montgomery. The course uses original works of art to increase visual intelligence and improve practice in patient observation. The course focuses on developing good observation skills, especially in terms of recognizing subtlety, symmetry, proportion and color nuance, and reinforces the ability to articulate those observations accurately. Students have an opportunity to strengthen verbal and written communication skills; understand the issues of ambiguity, bias and empathy; and consider how all of these factors affect physical and psychosocial assessment of patients.