Number 56 in our countdown of '70 Ways Art Improves Our Health' highlights how art can improve medical practice…

The path through traditional medical training has often focused on biology and chemistry, and has failed to provide the human and emotional skills doctors need in their everyday practice.

In recent years there has a been a growing view that medical schools need to change so that they equip students to become more confident, capable and humane doctors. Many in the medical profession believe that the key is to integrate arts subjects into healthcare studies.

A study published in January this year has confirmed that medical students with more exposure to the arts have significantly better empathy and emotional intelligence. Vitally, they are also far less likely to develop symptoms of burnout.

Art training has also been found to improve medical students’ practical skills. In a 2017 study by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, researchers found significant improvement in observational skills among students who took part in an extensive art course. The study shows that art training can help teach medical students to become better clinical observers.

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