Should Art Classes Be Offered in Medical School?

March 07, 2018

Interest in integrating the arts and humanities into medical education is blossoming. Programs around the country either offer or require medical students to take classes in the arts or humanities in the hope that they will foster skills that are essential to good clinical care, including observational skills, critical thinking, and empathy.

To date, however, few studies have formally assessed the effect of such training on specific clinical skills.

Now a small randomized controlled trial published in Ophthalmology has done just that. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia found a significant improvement in observational skills among students who underwent formal observation training in art compared with students who did not.

Tell us what you think about integrating the arts into medical school.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.