Integrating the humanities into anatomy instruction

Article documents art and anatomy workshop offered at the UT Health Science Center

Penelope Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, is a co-author with Dr. Charleen Moore of the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, of an article in an upcoming issue of Anatomical Sciences Education:

Moore, C. M., Lowe, C., Lawrence, J., & Borchers, P. (2011). Developing observational skills and knowledge of anatomical relationships in an art and anatomy workshop using plastinated specimens, in press. Anatomical Sciences Education. Epub ahead of print retrieved July 29, 2011. doi: 10.1002/ase.244.

Constance Lowe, M.F.A. and Jayne Lawrence, M.F.A., both of UTSA, are also co-authors.

The article describes art and anatomy workshops that took place in the Briscoe Library in 2009 and 2011.  The workshops rely in part on materials housed in the collection of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

From the abstract: Many medical schools have developed formal art observation training in conjunction with nearby art museums to enhance the visual diagnostic skills of their medical students. We report here on an art and anatomy workshop that paired medical and art students who did drawing exercises from plastinated anatomical specimens and the animated face to hone observational skills… We propose workshops such as these …  will assist the medical student in developing diagnostic skills for identifying disease and the art student in using the human body as subject. We further propose that these programs will help students develop humanistic sensitivities and provide an outlet for expression of the emotional aspects of dealing with disease and mortality.

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