83Degrees Explores the USFCAM Art in Health Program

The USF Art in Health program, a collaborative project that unites the USFCAM museum with USF Health, was featured in a recent article in 83Degrees. The program, modeled after similar initiatives at Harvard University and University of Miami, was founded in 2012 and since hosted 86 students from disciplines including medicine, public health, pharmacy, physical therapy, social work and speech-language pathology.

Collage, drawing and visual observation exercises

Art in Health seeks to encourage health students, ranging from doctors to nurses and therapists, to improve their observational skills. USF College of Public Health faculty member Aurora Sanchez Anguiano, Ph.D., says that “observation is the key in all of the health sciences” and that the program encourages students to stop and think before coming to conclusions, a vital skill for future health practitioners.

Megan Voeller, Associate Curator of Education at USF CAM and program director of Art in Health, uses the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) discussion method with the students to “improve critical thinking, listening, communication and visual observation.”

“It’s also about mindfulness and the ability to reflect and focus,” says Voeller. In addition to a museum-based workshop using VTS, the program includes workshops in studio art and movement.

Feedback suggests that the program strikes a chord with students. Julia Zhang, a current medical student and Art in Health workshop attendee, said that her participation in the program allowed her to “look at things from a different perspective.”

You can read the full story here: USF Leverages Arts, Sciences To Provide Better Healthcare

More About USF Art in Health

Body awareness, movement observation and practice

In partnership with USF Health, the USF Contemporary Art Museum offers a series of workshops designed to improve the observation skills of USF graduate and professional students in health disciplines. Join other USF students for intensive, inter-professional arts-based training in observation, critical thinking and communication. Research shows that training health practitioners in art skills improves visual awareness. Each workshop includes a series of arts activities and a concluding discussion led by a USF Health faculty member. Visiting faculty members for Spring 2014 include Dr. Frazier Stevenson, Morsani College of Medicine (Studio Art workshop) and Dr. Aurora Sanchez-Anguiano, College of Public Health (Museum workshop).

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