Art & Medicine Programs

You teach the science. We'll add the human touch.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts works with medical schools and healthcare systems to provide humanities-based training for medical students, nursing students, university faculty members and practicing physicians. Program offerings include content-based talks and workshops introducing historic collaborations between artists and doctors that advanced understanding of the human body, as well as hands-on and "eyes-on" exercises that build new skills with clinical applications.

Exercises led by trained facilitators focus on examination and observation, not historical interpretation, and create a safe space to consider the importance of non-clinical skills in better healthcare practice. All elements of this work share a common goal of helping healthcare practitioners identify unconscious bias in decision-making, while each workshop and classroom experience focuses on a specific skill development like accurate visual observations, empathy, teamwork, emotional intelligence, and the importance of enhanced visual vocabulary in contemporary medical practice. PAFA staff currently teach classes at multiple area schools—Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Cooper Medical School at Rowan University, each of whom design the humanities-portion of their curricula in different ways. (Sample 6 and 12 hour curricula available upon request.)

 

Sample Workshops and Fee Structures

Arrange for an individual workshop for your group or combine several into a day-long retreat. PAFA has catering options available and can scale up to facilitate retreats for up to 100 people. (Please note: Catering fees are extra and availability may be limited based on current COVID-19 protocols.)

The Art of Observation: Uses close looking and discussion of artworks to help participants identify unconscious biases in their decision-making, practice building group consensus, and appreciate how diversity contributes to unbiased conclusions.

2-3 Hour

Available virtually.

$750 / 20 pl

Available in person.

$1000 / 15 ppl

The Art of Emotional Intelligence: Uses portraits from PAFA’s collection for an introductory experience into the importance of emotional intelligence, focusing improving understanding of facial expressions, body posture and the cultural biases that affect our interpretation of the emotions of other people. Addition workshop on Applying Empathy as a useful add-on.

1 - 1.5 Hour 

Available virtually.

$500 / 20 ppl

 

Available in person.

$500 / 25 ppl

Meditative Sketching: Use mark-making based meditations to relax the mind by incorporating line, shape and color art as a visual presentation of mood and emotional presence. Great ice-breaker for busy professionals to practice slowing down.

45 - 60 min

Available virtually

$500 / 20 ppl
(Supplies may be sent via mail.)

Available in person.

$500 / 20 ppl
(Includes all supplies.)

Drawing from the Masters: Working with a trained artist, participants learn to draw the human body from live models and/or PAFA's iconic cast collection. Instructors facilitate conversations about engaging in unfamiliar activities, the role of peer to peer feedback,  changing fixed mindsets and empathic management of others. Participants leave with a finished anatomical drawing. 1.5 - 2 Hours Not available virtually.

Available in person.

$1000 / 20 ppl

(Includes live models and supplies.)

Is your medical school or practice ready to try something new?

We're experienced in designing humanities curricula for a wide variety of scenarios and can custom-design a workshop for your faculty or practicing physicians. Call us at 215-972-2105 or email mzimmerman@pafa.org.

Common goals for custom-designed curricula include:

  • Working and communicating as a team
  • Building empathy and emotional intelligence
  • Creative problem solving
  • Your Idea Here!
CMSRU medical students exploring PAFA's archive
CMSRU medical students exploring PAFA's archive
Jefferson nursing faculty in PAFA's contemporary galleries
Jefferson nursing faculty in PAFA's contemporary galleries
CMSRU students acting out a PAFA painting
CMSRU students acting out a PAFA painting
Finished drawings of medical students
Finished drawings of medical students
Jefferson administrators drawing from the cast collection
Jefferson administrators drawing from the cast collection

Preview Talk: Collaborations in Art and Medicine


Contact Us

PAFA offers programs for artists and art lovers of all ages and skill levels who want to learn about and make art.