Skip to main content

Arts-based Observational Skills Workshop in Dermatology

As part of the forthcoming Dermatology GP course for fifth year medical students a Imperial College London, we have developed an exciting and innovative workshop with the aim of improving students’ observation skills in dermatology using arts-based teaching. Dr Jamila Sherif gives an update on the aims of the workshop.

The arts can help us to slow perception, learn to look closely at the whole picture and see things anew. It is collaboration between arts-educators and medical educators, which in itself give rise to mutual learning and unique insights.

An arts-based approach to teach clinical observation skills has been integrated into some US medical schools for over a decade. A literature review identified papers that have evaluated student learning though art and proposed systematic observation of paintings can be used to aid development of visual observation skills. We have drawn on and developed this work, trying to design a session that focuses not only on visual but tactile perception, is translatable and meaningful in a clinical context and equips students with a framework for analysing skin lesions.

The workshop introduction highlights that although our natural impulse is to define and diagnose, if we take time to carefully observe and palpate we can pick up important clues and have a more effective process of clinical reasoning. In this manner, we can avoid errors such as pitfalls in pattern recognition and search satisfying errors when we stop looking after an initial finding.

After an initial warm-up drawing exercise that encourages critical looking, students rotate between 3 parallel mini-workshops. In the ‘mini-gallery’ workshop students observe works of art with a facilitator who encourages them to describe as completely as possible their observations. In the tactile workshop students feel everyday, tactile objects blinded, list their observations and mould the objects they perceive through touch alone. The dermatology workshop gives students the opportunity to practice applying a framework for examination to describe simulated skin lesions, clinical images and historical prints. They also modelled common skin lesions using plasticine.

Feedback from current fifth year students who participated in a pilot of this workshop was very positive and encouraging. Students commented that they felt more confident in examining and felt empowered by the tactile workshop to palpate skin lesions. They would now take more time to observe and feel and not jump to conclusions. They found moulding skin lesions particularly useful as it helped then translate the 2D images in their text books to the 3D of reality. They also found examining and describing the simulated model arm skin lesion very effective. They felt art was a safe environment to teach dermatology examination skills and enjoyed the change.

Dr Jamila Sherif, GP Teaching Fellow, Imperial College London

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Releasing student potential: Widening access to opportunities in community healthcare

This summer the Department of Primary Care and Public Health kicked off an exciting new programme: Widening Access to Careers in Community Healthcare (WATCCH). We hosted twenty 16-17 year olds who are aspiring to be the first in their families to go to university – at the Charing Cross campus for the inaugural WATCCH project. Our aim was to change perceptions of wider healthcare careers and provide vital work experience for their University applications. Competition was high and the team was very impressed by the number of high calibre students that applied for a place.

Year 12 Pupils from 19 London secondary schools attended an induction day in late July. During the workshop, an experienced multi-professional panel consisting of 5 professionals including an Imperial final year medical student, shared their career journeys with the pupils from their A level to postgraduate degrees. This was followed by pupils creating individual mind maps, which they thoroughly enjoyed, of where they…

Integrated Clinical Apprenticeship - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT ARE MY MORNING COMMITMENTS? Your Thursday morning and afternoon throughout your year 5 will be dedicated to the Integrated Clinical Apprenticeship. This has been negotiated with the Year 5 course leads and your Specialty supervisors for each firm. Attendance is mandatory for both morning and afternoon sessions.
You will attend your allocated GP surgery on a time negotiated with your GP mentor.
In the morning, you will see patients from your caseload, assessing their clinical needs and bringing yourself up to date with their secondary care contacts. You can then plan with your patient to attend any secondary care appointments in the coming weeks with your patients.
You may also see “ad hoc” patients from the surgery and, if relevant, add them to your caseload. There will be an opportunity to see other health professionals in the primary care team and assist in their daily activities.

WHAT IS MY PATIENT “CASELOAD”?
This is a group of about 12 patients (shared with your pair), recr…

Congratulations to Usama Syed

Usama Syed, a final year medical student in the Faculty of Medicine, was selected for a 2015 Imperial College London Outstanding Student Achievement Award. These awards are to recognize and commend outstanding achievement beyond the academic subject area.  Usama was nominated for his award by the Department of Primary Care and Public Health.

Usama's achievements include:
Founding a new society at the College - MedTech Imperial- designed to bring together students across the medical, engineering, and computing departments, With colleagues coding a brand new mobile phone application designed to streamline the way front-line hospital staff provide feedback and quality improvement ideas to senior medical directors. Researching and writing articles for the official Imperial College website on medical topics for public release.Editing a newsletter for a Health Centre in Clapham, London. In this role, he has written numerous articles for local residents on topics such as travel safety an…