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Artist Mark Gilbert and his Portraits of Care: Medical Humanities’ Editors Choice

28 Jul, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

Anyone lucky enough to have come across or been engaged with Mark Gilbert’s work in the Changing Faces exhibition will be pleased to hear that more of his work is now publicly available.

http://mh.bmj.com/content/suppl/2010/06/23/36.1.5.DC1/MH_Appendix_003780.pdf

One of Mark’s paintings, Jarad, featured on the cover of the June issue of Medical Humanities and I would urge you to go on-line and to take time to look this extraordinary portrait. If you do, then I suspect that the experience  will be profound, and, depending perhaps on your perspective and your experiences, even a little disturbing. For some of you this will be the first time you have born witness to someone else’s experience of illness, and you may be struck by the introspective quality of Jarad’s portrait. Others will already know more than they wish to about being ill or of caring for someone who is ill. more…

Humanities at the Cutting Edge: an AMH Conference with sun, sea and surf as added extras: Truro 5-7th July 2010

10 Jun, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, one of the UK’s newer medical schools, has got a lot of things going for it, including its location in the glorious west country. A fact that won’t escape the notice of those lucky enough to be attending the  annual conference of the Association of Medical Humanities this July. Given the many attractions of the two sites for the conference- Truro and Penzance- it’s a wonder that delegates will manage to drag themselves  from the delights of coastal scenery and local hospitality and into the lecture hall. more…

Dr Ciraj A.M. writes about ‘An Unusual Annual Day’ in an Indian Medical School

16 May, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

This write up will share the experiences of an educational intervention with a difference.  It narrates the story from a medical school located at the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. For the annual day celebrations of this school, the faculty used to host a cultural show as a mark of their love and reverence to the students. The cultural performances used to take different forms, ranging from songs, skits, dances and a lot more. On this year’s annual day, they decided to perform something unique. The movement was spearheaded by microbiologists who incidentally had many of their members involved in medical education research and cultural coordination committee.  A meeting was convened and the medium of theatre and dance was finalized to depict certain educational themes.  As usual, the process gained momentum just two days before the event. more…

Believing Without Seeing

11 Jan, 10 | by Ayesha Ahmad

Esref Armagan was born blind in Ankara, Turkey. He has now become a famous artist due to his sheer talent and also due to certain significant and unusual reasons. His art displays the colour, vividness, light, dark, imagination and perspective that we are used to considering as the gifts of sight. Esref is changing the meaning of what it is to see the world.

Whilst taking part in a documentary with the University of Toronto, he exclaimed: “why would I want to see when I can see so much more with my hands?” These words fall upon us at a time where medicine is advancing through producing images of our body that otherwise we are blind to, such as fMRI, X-Rays, CT scans. We are looking into how we can perceive the human body in its finest detail. Our direction of what it means to achieve the fullest understanding of the internal physical world of the body is engaged with finding what is hidden. more…

Establishing a Medical Humanities in Nepal with the help of a FAIMER Fellowship by Ravi Shankar

7 Dec, 09 | by Deborah Kirklin

In this guest posting, Dr Ravi Shankar tells us how a FAIMAR Fellowship help him to develop and deliver a medical humanities curriculum in Nepal. Ravi writes…

Dr. Badyal, my good friend during my postgraduate residency e-mailed me in late January 2007 informing about a FAIMER fellowship in South Asia. At that time my knowledge and ideas about FAIMER were nebulous. I knew that it was an American organization involved in international medical education. more…

The Art of Making Sense of Life and Death

3 Nov, 09 | by Deborah Kirklin

An exhibition of recent work by artist David Marron opened recently at GV Art Gallery in London, writes Marina Wallace, curator of the exhibition. A catalogue, containing the writings of the artist, accompanies the show. Having installed his work, and having been present at the private view and the following days’ encounters with critics, journalists, and interested parties, David Marron returned to his shifts as a paramedic, working on an ambulance in London. more…

How does this painting make you feel?

15 Jul, 09 | by Deborah Kirklin

There’s an old adage in medicine that if being with a patient makes you feel depressed then there’s a good chance that person is themselves depressed. So how does this painting make you feel? Depressed, or hopeful? Safe, or vulnerable? Alone, or observed? more…

Medicine, Literature, Art and Music: Royal Society of Medicine, London 1st April 2009.

18 Mar, 09 | by Deborah Kirklin

If you’re in the London region you might be interested in this symposium on medicine and the humanities. Focussing on literature, art and music it features some excellent speakers. In keeping with other RSM events, lively debate is sure to follow.

http://www.rsm.ac.uk/academ/hsg106.php

Venue: The Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 0AE

Speakers to include: Stephen Golding, Aileen Adams, Richard Hull and Anne Hargreaves.

Rubens and the art of observation: a dying clinical skill?

15 Dec, 08 | by Deborah Kirklin

Peter Paul Rubens. Helene Fourment in a fur wrap (Het Pelsken). c.1635. Oil on panel, 176x83 cm. Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Do you ever really look at your patients? I mean really, really, look, so carefully that you’re in danger of making both of you feel uncomfortable? And if you do, do you look with the eye of a medic, seeking to confirm or rule out certain features, or do you look-as an artist might look- with an innocent eye, open to all possibilities and closed to none? 

If, like me, you take it for granted that artists have always been better than the average person at seeing what’s actually there, rather than what they are expecting to see, then  you might be surprised to read a recent paper in Medical Humanities by Abastado and Chemla which suggests otherwise. 

http://mh.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/34/2/84 more…

The Birmingham Children’s Hospital: the day the silent scream got noisy

13 Nov, 08 | by Deborah Kirklin

http://www.munch.museum.no/content.aspx?id=15

This week a leading national paper in the UK broke news  of what has been rightly called a medical scandal. They revealed the existence of a report into the systemic inadequacies of management systems at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The impact of these failings on the standard of care provided by the hospital are now the subject of a further report, deemed necessary once the contents of the first report were made public.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/nov/09/royal-college-surgeons-birmingham-childrens-hospital-scandal-report

The report was commissioned by the local Primary Care Trust (PCT) for whose patients the hospital provides care. Rather than being commissioned because  of identified negative impacts in terms of increased patient morbidity and mortality, the report is, instead, the result of the PCT’s response to a collective and anguished cry for help from the world class doctors at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and other local hospitals. No longer able or willing to stand by whilst their reasoned arguments about patient safety, duty of care, and the ethical imperatives inherent in their role as both care givers and patient advocates fell on deaf and ignorant ears, they looked elsewhere in the hope that reason and integrity would prevail.  more…

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