These images were used in one visit by medical students as part of a three-session art and medicine experience designed for M3 medical students participating in an Internal Medicine clerkship at U-M and the V.A. Hospital in Winter 2018. These experiences were offered as part of a research study on resilience (grit), tolerance of ambiguity, empathy and compassion. The beginning of the clinical clerkships and the experiences therein have been identified as a critical time for young physicians in training with regard to the qualities studied. Different, larger image sets have been used for this activity (Photography Observation and Empathy) since 2012 by Ruth Slavin (creator)
During the research study (Winter 2018) 12 small groups of medical students came to UMMA three times: with a total of 3 groups x 3 visits. The study also had two "control" groups for each group of visitors, one who was offered the art experiences in the hospital setting with digital or print reproductions and one offered a standard didactic lecture.
The looking and discussion process for this particular experience (for this portfolio of photographs) asks students to form initial impressions and then reconsider the meaning of the works after additional discussion or information. This “Think and Think Again” pedagogy models the thought process of forming and reconsidering hypotheses or diagnoses, as new information is added or presented through discovery.
The activity further explore what types of understanding and knowledge are generated from first person and objective description perspectives, and what each might contribute to the practice of clinical medicine. This activity derives from the practices and pedagogy of narrative medicine and role of physician’s competence and comfort with attuned communication in patient care (empathy).