The myth that people are either right-brain dominant (creative and artistic) or left-brain dominating (logical, good at math, etc. ) is just that — a myth. The truth is, we only have one brain — and the corpus callosum joins the left and right cerebral hemispheres because they are meant to work together. Numerous examples exist of people who have excelled in both the sciences plus arts.
Albert Einstein is remembered for being one of the most influential physicists in history, but a lesser-known fact is that he played the violin. In fact, he is quoted as saying that most of the joy in his life came from his violin . It is also reported that he used music as a technique to help with brainstorming.
Albert Schweitzer was a humanitarian, philosopher, organist, musicologist, in addition to theologian who was also a physician and even served as a medical missionary in what is now Gabon. Physicians together with scientists who are actively engaged in the arts often report that their involvement in both realms is mutually beneficial. Steven Scheinman, MD, former dean of the Geisinger Commonwealth School associated with Medicine, who is also an opera singer, summed it up so effectively with these words, “I could not be as good the doctor, or even as open with my patients, if I did not have the artistry in my life. ”
Exploring the particular role regarding music in medicine
In addition to the therapeutic effect of songs in the context of illness, it can also contribute to improved clinical skills, potentially impacting patient outcomes. The sharpened listening abilities that are developed through years of musical training can translate into typically the ability to hear subtle cardiac murmurs on auscultation. Musical training can also foster active listening skills, which can be applied in clinical settings. Active listening involves paying attention in order to what is being said and additionally how it is said, the tone of voice, the rate of speech, and even this moments involving silence. Such skills can be strengthened via musical coaching. A medical school professor once told a story about how a new patient could hardly move his arm, with no physical explanation. The patient was diagnosed with conversion disorder, and only after some sort of medical student took the time to be able to listen for you to his story was he able to move his arm. The opportunity to tell his story and express himself led to their healing, yet this only came about because a medical student had taken often the time to help actively listen to him.
Medical humanities inside medical education
The academic medicine community now recognizes the importance of including your arts not to mention humanities on medical education. Many medical schools possess courses within the healthcare humanities for medical students, notably Penn State College of Medicine . Besides the formal curriculum at Penn State University of Medication, students, staff, faculty, and also patients have the opportunity to publish narrative essays and artwork in a literary journal, Wild Onions .
Incorporating the exact humanities into the program at the graduate medical education level has been more of a challenge, but there are ongoing efforts to do so, such as the medical humanities initiative at Reading Hospital-Tower Health . In addition to a good formal programs addressing topics such as professionalism, spirituality, as well as medical ethics, you will find enrichment activities such as museum visits, storytelling events, and opportunities to publish poetry, prose, plus artwork inside a new literary journal, Silver Linings .
Harvard Medical School has an Arts in addition to Humanities Initiative that is co-led by Lisa Wong, MD, a physician and even musician who speaks regarding music as medicine inside this TED Talk . Wong is also the previous director connected with the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, a Boston-based orchestra made up primarily with medical musicians.
In partnership with the particular John F. Kennedy Center for typically the Performing Arts, researchers in the National Institutes for Health are usually exploring the potential of music to improve health through the Sound Health initiative . Their aims include exploring how this intricate circuitry within the brain which is involved with audio can be harnessed with regard to health and wellness. The particular Johns Hopkins Center regarding Music together with Medicine will be an interdepartmental collaboration between the Johns Hopkins School about Medicine as well as the Peabody Conservatory that actively explores often the healing power of tunes through various research initiatives. Researchers usually are studying your impact in music on patients along with various conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The availability of non-pharmacologic interventions that are effective in the treatment from neurological diseases would be a significant contribution in order to the field. We all stand to be able to benefit from your holistic approach to science and additionally art, and the recent emphasis on exploring the exact impact of music upon healthcare not to mention including the humanities throughout medical training are steps in the right direction.
Olapeju Simoyan, MARYLAND , is an addiction medicine specialist.
This post appeared about KevinMD .