Art and Medicine

Research, resources, and course that cultivate connections between art history and medical education.

Image: Manuel Martagon

Embracing a more humanistic understanding of health and well-being is part of a new movement to improve physicians’ clinical training. By developing observation, critical thinking and communication skills, medical students relate these to diagnostic practices and their work with patients.

The use of original works of art from museum collections is a unique approach to engaging medical students, residents, physicians, and nurses in an innovative learning process. Medical schools are expanding their education programs by partnering with local art museums.


Bibliography, list of over 125 program descriptions, and sample syllabi for art museum and medical school-partnered programs.


The O’Donnell Institute partners with The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and the Dallas Museum of Art to engage medical students in observing, analyzing, and communicating about works of art to develop their diagnostic skills.

Video and Recordings

Watch recorded lectures, interviews, and UT Dallas eLearning course for Art and Medicine.


The Art of Examination: Art Museum and Medical School Partnerships Forum sponsored by the O’Donnell Institute and hosted by MoMA in June 2016.


Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History; Distinguished Scholar in Residence, School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication; Director of Art-Brain Innovations, Center for BrainHealth, The University of Texas at Dallas