Training Medical Students

by David Lemberg on September 7, 2009

in Art and Science, Medical Education, Science Education

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Dr. Barbara Tobias, Dr. Nancy Elder, and Amber Lucero-Criswell discuss The Art of Observation, their innovative course at The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. In addition, these educators discuss the impact the course has had on medical students’ subsequent clinical experiences during their 3rd and 4th years.

Barbara Bowman Tobias, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Cincinnati, where she is a family physician, clinician, and award-winning teacher at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Dr. Tobias teaches in all four years of medical education and directed the medical interview course for over 10 years. Teaching interests in addition to Family Medicine include ethics, death and dying, physical diagnosis, human sexuality and domestic violence. Her work in medical education has been presented regionally and nationally at the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine and American Association of Medical Colleges.

Dr. Tobias is the recipient of the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine award, sponsored by the Arthur Gold Foundation, and the Silver Apple Award, given by graduating medical students to the faculty member that most positively impacted their medical education. Dr. Tobias is the creator and director of an innovative elective course entitled the Art of Observation, which uses a partnership with the Cincinnati Art Museum to teach observation, description, and interpretation skills to medical students.

Nancy C. Elder, MD, MSPH is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Cincinnati, where she is a primary care researcher, clinician, and teacher. Dr. Elder has been at UC since 2001, where she has focused her research on patient safety and medical errors in the outpatient primary care setting. She has received both federal and foundation funding for her work, which focuses on two related areas: the experience of patients with medical errors and improving the systems of care in physicians’ offices to improve patient safety.

Dr. Elder has presented at many national meetings, and has published her work in respected medical journals, including JAMA, the Annals of Family Medicine, and the Journal of Patient Safety. She maintains a clinical practice, providing care to the homeless population of Cincinnati through the Healthcare for Homeless Program. She teaches medical students about patient safety, and co-directs an innovative elective course entitled The Art of Observation, which uses a partnership with the Cincinnati Art Museum to teach observation, description, and interpretation skills to medical students.

Amber Lucero-Criswell is the Associate Curator of Education for Interpretation and Adult Programs at the Cincinnati Art Museum. With a background in the fine arts and art history, Amber curates the educational programs for adult audiences and works to effectively interpret works of art for the public. Since 2001, Amber has collaborated with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine to teach “The Art of Observation” and leads students in the Art Museum-based sessions, teaching the skills of observation, description, interpretation, and emotional response through the careful study of works of art.

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{ 1 comment }

Josh Freeman October 8, 2009 at 11:07 am

Interesting stuff, Dave. I know of this work at Cincinnati (FM is not a “small” field, but a close one). I have written on medical student education several times on my blog, most recently Sept 12
“Are we training physicians to be empathic? Apparently not.”
Some day when in SD we’ll get together!
Josh

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