Life Drawing for Medical Students: Artistic, Anatomical and Wellbeing Benefits
James C., O'Connor S., Nagraj S.
This article was migrated. The article was not marked as recommended. BackgroundStand-alone undergraduate wellness programmes have attempted to address the problem of burnout in medical students. These programmes have however, often encountered resistance from students, who may not perceive the value of self-care techniques in relation to their medical studies. We proposed an alternative process to relax and engage students in positive mental processes, whilst providing clinically relevant skills, through an integrated arts-based student selected module.MethodA ten-week student-selected module in life drawing was developed. Sessions focused on components of artistic theory, their practical application and relationship to anatomical concepts, delivered within a safe and relaxing environment. Upon completion of the module, students completed a feedback questionnaire outlining their perceptions of the course and self-reported impact on their anatomical and artistic abilities.ResultsA total of 24, year 2 medical students participated in the course. All students agreed to the statement that they had enjoyed the module*, and 96% of students found the module relaxing. All students agreed the module had improved their drawing skills, 83% agreed that it had improved their knowledge of anatomy and 87% believed it to be a worthwhile component of their medical training.DiscussionThe introduction of a Life Drawing module to medical students at UEA has been viewed as a positive experience by all medical students undertaking the module. Results suggest that a carefully designed life-drawing module, could have a positive impact on student wellbeing, whilst providing practical, clinically applicable skills. In addition to the development of drawing skills, wider benefits of the module include increased observational skills and a better understanding of human anatomy.* = indicates Strongly agree or Agree with the statement.