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Art is Patient

An Eye-Opening
Art-Based Learning Experience
for Healthcare Learners and Professionals

Art is Patient is a seminar series that I offer through the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.


Each seminar guides learners through an art gallery where we learn to Approach, Witness and Engage with artworks: a memorable way to learn about approaching, witnessing and engaging with patients, with colleagues, and with ourselves.

The process helps us realize the impact of:


looking closely,

distinguishing form from content,
noticing our responses,
engaging in mark-making, and
sharing our perspectives.


The impact is great. Learners report that the sessions open them up to a new and useful way of looking. They learn ways of paying attention to their outside and inside worlds. They get more curious about these worlds -- and want to look further, approach, witness and engage more.

Through the process we come to understand and develop ourselves as professionals and as people, growing our:


personal insight,

reflective capacity,


power of observation,

social justice awareness,

appreciation of ambiguity,

articulation of professional values,

awareness of assumptions, biases, expectations, and

appreciation of sensations and feelings as forms of information.


A relational and trauma-sensitive approach anchors the seminars.
The sessions introduce or deepen learners' awareness of the prevalence of trauma as an underlying factor in much ill-health. They offer a way of engaging with patients', colleagues' and learners' own traumatic experience in a humane, respectful, effective way.


Designed for healthcare learners at Women's College Hospital's Trauma Therapy Program, I further developed it through a Fellowship in Art-Museum Based Health Professions Education at the Harvard Macy Institute.

Read about the theory and practice of Art is Patient in the Journal of Medical Humanities.

Three 2-hour sessions at
the Art Gallery of Ontario

Three 2-hour sessions at
the Art Gallery of Ontario

Day-long workshop at
the Art Gallery of Ontario

Hour-long online workshop
for the Foundations of
Narrative Medicine Program


An Intro to Form in Visual Art for Residents in Pediatric Medicine

Two-hour workshop at
the Art Gallery of Ontario

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