Focus on Arts: Can art make better doctors?

Dr. Irwin Braverman wants to teach medical students to be more like Sherlock Holmes.

"Doctors have this problem: They often reach conclusions based on very little information," said Braverman, a professor emeritus of dermatology at Yale Medical School. "And then, they tend to pick out the details that support the conclusion they have already come to and ignore the other details."

After noting that some students had trouble observing, Braverman took his students to look at art to practice their observation skills. Fourteen years and several studies later, Braverman and the Yale Center for British Art have successfully developed an arts and medical course that is now a requirement for first-year medical students.

Braverman will be in Chattanooga this week as part of a panel called "Healthy Partners: Why the Arts Matter to Medicine" - a discussion during the Arts Education Partnership's National Forum that will focus on how arts education can help train medical students to be better observers.