Art is Patient – January 2020

This 3-part seminar guides Medical Students, Residents and Health Professionals in

  • close observation of art
  • group reflection and
  • art-making within the Art Gallery of Ontario, to let art tell us what we need to know about seeing, witnessing and engaging in the context of care. The gallery allows objects and images to clarify the doctor-patient relationship in ways the clinic can’t, giving us space to question and understand our roles with one another without the usual pressures to know or perform or explain.



  • Foster cognitive skills such as description and interpretation (and better understand the distinction between the two), critical thinking and metacognition
  • Sharpen technical abilities such as close observation, diagnostic acumen, pattern recognition and the perception of non-verbal cues
  • Deepen interpersonal skills with both patients and colleagues, such as collaboration, social awareness and cultural sensitivity
  • Nurture humanistic qualities such as tolerance of ambiguity, creativity and self-reflection
  • Understand the role of embodied witnessing in the practice of medicine.


Seminar leader

Eva-Marie Stern, RP, MA, Adjunct Professor U of T Dept of Psychiatry, is an art therapist, psychotherapist and educator. She co-founded WRAP (within the Trauma Therapy Program) at Women’s College Hospital in 1998. Her chapter, co-authored with Shelley Wall, “The Visible Curriculum”, which appears in Health Humanities in Postgraduate Medical Education (Oxford U Press, 2018) expands on how looking at and making art can vitalize learning in medicine. She offers art-based medical education initiatives in hospitals, museums and community studios.

Time and place

Wednesdays January 15, 22 and 29, 2020

Art Gallery of Ontario


Open to all U of T Medical Students, Residents, and Learners from other disciplines on a first-come, first-served basis. (This seminar series is formerly known as Seeing Art as Medicine.) There is no cost for participation but enrolment is required and ATTENDANCE IS EXPECTED AT ALL THREE seminar/workshops.

No art experience is necessary. Entrance to the Gallery and art supplies provided.

For more information and to register, please contact: