On Tuesday, February 19, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) hosted its second annual Visual Arts Contest awards reception. The contest was an opportunity for members of the PCOM community to showcase their artistic talents, with entries including photography, sculptures, paintings and more. This year’s contest included over 90 submissions and PCOM community members cast over 400 votes.
Ruth Conboy, DNP, personal support counselor, Office of Student Affairs, coordinated the event and spoke about the importance of showcasing the creativity on campus. “While we are surrounded by incredible talent here on campus, we are largely a science-based institution and it is not often that creativity gets to shine,” she said. “This contest is a chance for students, faculty, and staff to show off a skill set they may have set aside due to a busy schedule.”
Dr. Conboy, who is earning a Certificate of Professional Achievement in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, also noted that incorporating humanities-focused initiatives are in-keeping with the university’s commitment to “whole person” education.
“Initiatives such as this contest, PCOM’s Coalition for Healthcare, Humanities and the Arts (CHHARTS), on-campus paint nights and our work with the Barnes collection allow our students to explore worlds beyond medicine, which will help them to become more well-rounded healthcare providers,” she said.
The infusion of arts and humanities into the study of medicine has been found to benefit medical students. A recent study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that exposure to the humanities was significantly correlated with positive personal qualities, including empathy, emotional appraisal and spatial skills, to name a few. The study also found that exposure to the humanities helped with some components of burnout.
“Having art as an outlet allows me to maintain some sense of humanity when I am studying [what feels like] 24 hours per day,” said Grace Bomann (DO ’21) who won first place in the painting/drawing category. “I drew the piece for a friend’s birthday and while I don’t get to draw often, I do enjoy it and hope to do more,” continued Bomann.
This year’s contest was sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Human Resources and PCOM’s Coalition for Healthcare, Humanities and the Arts (CHHARTS). Learn more about PCOM’s efforts to infuse humanities into the medical school experience in this story from the latest issue of Digest.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations in inner city and rural locations. For more information, visit pcom.edu.
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