Week 4 _Human Body and Medicine by Dalton Abbott

When first prompted by Professor Vesna to realize a true connection between art and medicine, I must admit that, like many other times in this class, I was initially skeptical. When multiple connections were made on a variety of different planes, however, I started to comprehend the validity in establishing a connection between the two. Were medicine purely scientific, doctors and scientists would not be constantly creating updated vaccines and cures to common diseases and conditions. Though I know the reactions between medicine and the human body require a great amount of scientific study and comprehension, if doctors lacked the creativity to approach an old problem in a new light, and relied solely on science, new discoveries would be few and far between. To make such a discovery or draw such a conclusion in medicine often requires one to think outside the box in the sense that one must alter an approach or a technique to make a truly groundbreaking discovery. To do this, the doctor must employ the creativity and free thinking that one would expect to see much more evident in an artist.

I believe that many of the similarities between the two deal with the perception made possible by the human eye.

The eye allows one to observe. Observation in medicine is a key component to the success of a doctor. He must observe symptoms and test results in order to create an accurate diagnosis of the problem and the way to fix it. The artist as well relies on the eye. Art, in almost all cases, is primarily visual. The use of coloration, depth of plane, and subject matter by the artist is all viewed through the eye of the observer. The truly incredible thing about the eye playing a major factor in both art and medicine lies in the idea that attention to detail is what fuels both fields. In medicine, doctors, when analyzing symptoms of patients, reading test results, or researching cures and vaccinations, must look for the slightest anomaly that may effectively end up altering their overall perception of any problem. There are such a vast number of sicknesses with seemingly indistinguishable symptoms, test results may so often seem normal if not for one little break in a constant pattern, and a different approach to creating a vaccination for a widespread disease may appear to be giving similar unsuccessful results unless the doctor is truly paying attention to each and every detail.

In art, details also play a major role. Many would argue that specific, seemingly small parts of a certain piece give it meaning and a lasting effect on humanity, such as Mona Lisa’s infamous smile. This argument exists because everything artists choose, they choose for a specific reason. Whether it is coloration, facial expressions, or background, artists pay attention to detail, utilizing every possible aspect of their work to convey a certain emotion or attitude. In conclusion, I’ve come to understand the many similarities between art and medicine by understanding that medicine, despite what many may think, is not an exact science. It requires the same free thinking, creativity, and unique perception that an artist must utilize on an everyday basis.

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