Journal Article
. 2019 Oct; 11(7):e5207.
doi: 10.7759/cureus.5207.

Art as a Learning Tool: Medical Student Perspectives on Implementing Visual Art into Histology Education

Vincent Cracolici 1 Ryan Judd 2 Daniel Golden 3 Nicole A Cipriani 4 
Affiliations
  • PMID: 31565612
  •     28 References
  •     2 citations

Abstract

Creating visual art to teach and learn histologic concepts is uncommon. A pilot visual art program was developed for use in first-year medical student courses that include histology with the hypothesis that creating visual art would subjectively improve the learning process and lead to learner-based personal incorporation of art into in future learning. Prior to the term, volunteers (n=25) were recruited from 89 first-year medical students. The volunteer group was given art supplies and encouraged to draw histologic images in a free-form setting without restrictions. The control group (n=64) consisted of non-volunteers. Pre- and post-term surveys were distributed to all students, of which 72% and 45% completed the surveys, respectively. Regardless of participation, a majority of students viewed art as a valuable tool to learn medicine prior to and following the term (73% and 82.5%, respectively), however less than half admitted to using art to learn medical concepts (42% and 40%, respectively). In the post-term survey, a higher percentage of students in the experimental group stated they will use art to learn medical concepts in the future (75% vs 40.6%). Most students considered art to be a valuable resource to learn concepts in medicine, including all the students who participated in the art program. Based on the number of students who reported intent to change behavior, the initial hypothesis is supported. Many students favor incorporation of visual art into medical education, we believe that creating visual art may be a worthwhile adjunct tool for histology education.

Keywords: art; education; histology; medical students.

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