Friday, 22 November 2013

Integrating the arts in medical studies

Third-year medical student Kitty Hardman looks forward to The Anatomy Season and its attempt to bring together the worlds of arts and science to reveal new ideas, perspectives and understanding.

When I began medical school I felt like I had to wave goodbye to the arts to fully embrace the scientific world…This didn’t go well for me and I had continual pangs for my former days as an English literature student and found myself going increasingly to the theatre!

When I heard about Performing Medicine: The Anatomy Season I immediately felt compelled to get involved and learn more about this unique season of events that seems to tackle the conception that you must belong to one or the other camp; arts vs science, science vs arts.

The interview on this blog with Suzy Willson, Clod Ensemble’s Co-Artistic Director, really struck a chord with me. She spoke about how medical institutions can sometimes ‘[brutally reduce people’s bodies].’ As a third year student, I am relatively new to the clinical medicine world, but I too have been taken a-back at how pragmatic and removed the profession can be. I’m sure some may respond by saying it is a necessary consequence to ensure non-emotive and clear-cut practice but I think that perhaps a greater respect for the human body as an expressive and emotional form could lead to clinicians who are more understanding of their patients. This may lead to better communication on a small scale, between doctor and patient but could also establish communication between the seemingly two so separate worlds: the arts and the sciences. 

Clod Ensemble already work in association with Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London, delivering courses and workshops for medical students across Barts and The London, King’s and Imperial Colleges. I certainly hope that in attending the forthcoming workshops in Cardiff, and in seeing the performance, An Anatomie in Four Quarters, I will be given ideas and some tools as to how to integrate the arts into my medical training and hopefully future practice.

I’m just really excited to see what The Anatomy Season will bring and grateful that this great event has come to Cardiff!

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