Mini Medical School is officially over and it was a great experience for me. If you missed the first part of this post, you can read it here. Today I’m going to talk about the last two sessions.
The topic for the third week’s lecture was “The Human Form Through the History of Art,” presented by Hollins University Associate Professor Jennifer Anderson. We mostly looked at different portrayals of the body through the history of art. Jennifer also talked about artists’ consistent interest with the body and depicting it realistically. Beauty was a big part of the talk, and we were reminded to keep in mind that people’s perception of beauty was different hundreds of years ago and it also varies from culture to culture.
The interactive half of the third session for my group was a talk with a practitioner from Virginia Prosthetics. This session surprised me. I have to admit that I was probably the least interested in this session, but I came out of it feeling grateful. As a diabetic, I’ve often thought about neuropathy and the risk of amputation, but for some reason I never thought about the possibility of having a prosthetic leg. The reason I felt grateful for this session is because I learned about the different options and the new technology in prosthetics and it was relieving in a way. Maybe because it seems a lot better than being stuck in a wheelchair without a leg. During the session, I waited for the practitioner to mention diabetes, and eventually he did, saying that most of their patients are diabetics who had a foot injury that wasn’t taken care of. At the end of the session, I asked him what the average age of his diabetic patients is and he said late 50s to 70. That’s not very old.
Last night was the fourth and last session. The lecture topic was “Body of Evidence: What Happens When Things Go Awry?” and it was presented by VTC’s Associate Professor of Surgery Carol Gilbert. Basically, we learned about a bunch of things that can go wrong with the body. It was a kind of morbid way to end the series. One thing I learned is that giving birth to a healthy baby really is a miracle. Staying relatively healthy through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood is also a miracle for sure.
For the second half of the night, I learned about the school’s use of standardized patients and moulage. Standardized patients are basically regular people who are trained to portray a sick patient so that the medical students have someone to practice on and receive feedback from.
Moulage is defined as the art of creating mock injuries. It’s actually a pretty simple process once you get the hang of it. Here is my injured hand that one of the SD’s did for me:
How convenient that yesterday was April Fools Day, right??
At the end of the night there was a short reception and we also received certificates of completion. Overall, I was very satisfied with the whole event and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in art and/or medicine. The staff said the plan is to make the program an ongoing thing. I will post information on that whenever I get it. Also, some of the sketches and artwork that participants created during this event will be displayed in The Art of Science Exhibition, which I mentioned on my news page. The opening reception is Thursday April 17th from 5:30-7:30pm. Thanks for reading!