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Artful Medicine: Art's Power to Enrich Patient Care // MED101x

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Interacting with Your Course Team

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Time Commitment/Effort

2-3 hours per week for 3 weeks


The course begins July 18, 2017 at 13:00 UTC and concludes on August 7, 2017 at 21:00 UTC. View the course for specific deadlines and due dates. 

Structure and Topics


Week 1: Humanism and Professionalism

1.1 - What can art teach us about Humanism? How do you analyze a work of art? What are the components of humanism that apply to patient care? How can you, the learners, apply this to your everyday interactions with others, both in the medical field and beyond?

1.2 - What can art teach us about professionalism? | How is a work of art interpreted? What are the onuses of professionalism? How do the elements of professionalism in art relate to one another?

1.3 - Threats to Humanistic Care What are some threats to medical humanism? How do they impact the quality of care in the medical profession? What are some ways we can make a difference and address these problems?

Week 2: Skills Cultivated Through Looking at Art

2.1 - The Importance of Observation | What is the difference between looking and seeing? Why is it important to see? Can one learn how to see and perceive?

2.2 - Self-Reflection and Awareness of Thinking Habits How do our thinking habits influence the care we give to patients? How do we become more aware of these habits? How can we remain open in our analysis of patient's needs and incorporate other perspectives before drawing conclusions? How can we become more aware of our assumptions and circumvent their undue influence on our conclusions?

2.3 - Empathy, Curiosity and Communication How can looking at art with others strengthen our ability to connect with patients? How can art help us cultivate our sensory awareness? How can we improve our communication skills through exchanging ideas about art? How can the portrayal of empathy in a painting relate to form a narrative?

Week 3: Discovering Humanism and Professionalism in Art

3.1 - Introduction to the Projects How can we curate and analyze pieces of art that depict medical humanism and professionalism? How can we curate works of art that illustrate aspects of professionalism and humanism in art in a way that adds value to caregiving? 

3.2 - Humanism Project | Can other artwork inform us about medical humanism? What can we learn from narratives exploring our own caregiver/patient relationships? How do these pieces of art or stories shared illustrate the theme of medical humanism? 

3.3 - Professionalism Project Can artwork inform us about medical professionalism? How does the work of art you selected or story your shared illustrate the theme of medical professionalism?

3.4 - Course Wrap Up | Did you find the course content meaningful and thought-provoking? Did it change the way you look at art or at caregiving? Did you find the projects and activities engaging? 

Assessment and Grading

Grading Scheme

Discussions = 40%
Projects = 40%
Assignments = 20%

Verified Certificate Information: 

To receive a Verified Certificate, you must receive a passing score of 70% and submit all coursework by 21:00 UTC on the last day of the course.

You may upgrade to a Verified Certificate at any time before 23:59 UTC on the last day of the first week of the course. 

Certificates will be issued by edX under the name BrownX. 

To succeed in Artful Medicine: Art's Power to Enrich Patient Care you are expected to: 

        • Contribute to the BrownX learning community by examining the meaning of medical professionalism, techniques for a humanistic approach to caregiving, and the positive impact of humanism on clinical outcomes.
        • Participate in the course activities as a means of exploring the intersection of humanism and professionalism in works of art and how these expressions apply to patient care.
        • Participate in a global conversation and create projects that analyze works of art as a means of developing essentials skills to high-quality patient care, including careful observation, self-reflection, empathy, and full attention to detail.

Academic and Community Guidelines

Academic Policies

As stated in the Principles of the Brown University Community, Brown strives for "a sense of community in which the individual growth of all members is advanced through the cultivation of mutual respect, tolerance, and understanding. Brown University values and encourages individuality while also affirming the community dimensions of academic life. A socially responsible community provides a structure within which individual freedoms may flourish without threatening the privileges or freedoms of other individuals or groups. 

"The University is committed to honest, open, and equitable engagement with racial, religious, gender, ethnic, sexual orientation and other differences. The University seeks to promote an environment that in its diversity is integral to the academic, educational and community purposes of the institution."

Community of Learners

We wish to provide a learning environment that supports a diversity of thoughts, perspectives and experiences while honoring all identities (including race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, ability, etc.). We ask each of you to be sensitive to this as well and to engage one another with respect and a spirit of genuine curiosity.

We expect all BrownX learners to follow the edX guidelines around Online Conduct. If you have concerns or any ideas for improving the course experience, we'd love to hear them. You will have opportunities throughout the course to submit your feedback via anonymous surveys.

Getting Help

If you have questions about the course materials, resources, activities, or discussions, please post your questions in the Course Q&A discussion thread. For technical questions for edX, use the Support tab on the left or click the Help on the top right to access the edX Learner Guide. 


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