In a first-of-its kind collaboration, CNHP's physician assistant (PA) program and the Barnes Foundation have partnered to strengthen PA students’ skills using creative works. PA department faculty Diana Smith, MHS, PA-C, Julie Kinzel, MEd, PA-C and Adrian Banning, MMS, PA-C and Barnes Foundation Director of Adult Education, William Perthes worked together to create a unique curriculum.
The curriculum was used within the Barnes Foundation galleries and presented first-year PA students with art viewing techniques, specifically "close looking." By viewing, critically thinking and then communicating about the fine art in the Barnes Foundation’s collection and being led through activities and conversation by an interprofessional medical and art educator team, PA students were provided with an opportunity to improve their observational, critical thinking and communication skills. Activities like this might even increase capacity for empathy.
The interprofessional educator team hopes to continue the collaboration and to research the possible learning effects in subsequent student cohorts. The collaboration is funded generously by the Barnes Foundation’s Dr. Sheldon D. Weintraub Fund–the mission of which is to bring art experiences to professionals in the medical, healthand civil servant fields as well as social service communities.
The Drexel PA program would like to thank the Barnes Foundation, the Dr. Sheldon D. Weintraub Fund and the Barnes Foundation Director of Adult Education Mr. William Perthes for sharing their vast and valuable resources for the betterment of medical education.