Slow Art Day participants around the world know that slow looking at art is a multi-dimensional experience that impacts our ability to look at and love art. But, many have also suspected that it has even wider applicability. It turns out that that a program called “Enhancing Observations Skills” at the Yale School of Medicine confirms our suspicions.
According to a June 2012 article in The Wall Street Journal, (“How to End the Age of Inattention” by Holly Finn), this Yale program began a decade ago when the curator of education at the Yale Center for British Art teamed up with a staff member at Yale’s medical school. Their goal: improve diagnostic skills of their medical students.
What did they do? They launched a slow art program that is cannily similar to what we do with thousands of participants around the world. Every year, they assign students paintings to observe for 15 minutes, asking students to note details and then discuss their experiences afterwards.
Improving the future doctors’ ability to see details helps them better pay attention when diagnosing illnesses. The program is now not only mandatory for first-year medical students at Yale, it’s expanded to more than 20 other medical schools, including Harvard, Columbia, and Cornell.
This slow art-centered approach, or “museum intervention”, is so effective that the article’s author suggests leaders in business, politics and even religion may benefit from adopting it as well.
What do you think? Does slow looking wide applicability? Would you like your doctor to visit the museum and look slowly? What about other professionals? How about politicians? Are you aware of other applications or of other pioneers? Leave a comment and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
– report by Slow Art Day blog editor Jennafer Martin, Edited by Phil Terry.