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The Art of Observation – Physician Assistant Students visit Memorial Art Gallery

[music] CLARK>>Science asks: Why do things happen in the natural
world? Humanities asks: Why do we behave the
way we do? What do we value? What do we feel? What do we think? Well, they are always surprised that given that they are focused on
healthcare and medical careers… why they are in an art gallery? And our
thinking is that the visual arts really does have
lessons to teach us as health care professionals. And one of them is observation. Another is, as Heidi has suggested, an awareness that perspectives and backgrounds and values… biases and
assumptions… belong to all of us. BURCH>>The key, I think, is the fact that by
moving away from a clinical setting or medical
setting, these folks can sort of focus on the
process… and observe the process. Whereas, if we’re sitting in a room with the
patient, and we try and remember: We’ve gotta get the facts… then we’ve got to think about the facts. Then we’ve got to come up
with a hypothesis. You know those things sometimes get get blurred by the fact that there’s a patient there that we need to treat. Here, when we’re not treating the patient we
can focus on the process and really get an idea of how we wanna act
when we’re actually in the place where we’re talking to a patient. SHAYNA>>It’s really like looking at a patient –
all the little details in a patient – just like all the little details in the painting add up to make one picture. And without all of those little details you wouldn’t have anything. And you might misdiagnose if you don’t have one detail. MILLER>>Ultimately then, it transitions to patients in the fact of how you interpret what it is and you pull all those pieces together. But ultimately to change mentalities so that you
don’t jump right in and come to very immediate conclusions.
Because in fact you miss so much of what patients have to say that you just
have to ask the right questions to get the history. So a lot of times that makes a big difference. [applause and music]

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