Artwork is useful in teaching visual diagnostic skills
- By: Samantha Chan
Researchers at Yale have shown that with the help of detailed artwork, first year medical students can be trained to become better observers. The two year study was a joint project between Irwin Braverman, professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine; Jacqueline Dolev, dermatologist and Yale graduate; and Linda Friedlaender, curator of education at the Yale Center for British Art. The three developed a tutorial called the Yale Center for British Art Project (YCBA), in which students were assigned a painting, given time to study it, and then asked to describe the painting to their peers based solely on what they had seen.
Eighty one students received the YBCA tutorial, while 65 students in a control group received a tutorial in clinical history taking and examination. All the students first took a pretest, which required them to describe photographs depicting people with various medical conditions. After the prescribed tutorial,