Life drawing for medical students
A different way to discover anatomy and appreciate the human body
Completely naked, the woman strode into the centre of the room and stood perfectly still. All eyes were on her body. Pencils poised, the life drawing class had begun. Southampton, Keele, and King’s College London are just a few of the medical schools in the United Kingdom that now offer life drawing classes for their students. But what can an art lesson teach the medical student who is more accustomed to handling a stethoscope than a sketching pencil?
Exposing medical students to a “range of physiques beyond the textbook”1 was cited as a benefit of the life drawing course run at Cambridge Postgraduate School of Medicine. When we enter clinical teaching we are faced with an array of bodies at various stages of ageing, obesity, and decrepitude. This is the reality, and the intrigue, of the human figure: not the ubiquitous muscular young athletes presented to us in textbooks. Nike