AGO Visual Literacy Training for Medical Faculty and Alumni

Art is Patient

For U of T Medical Faculty and Alumni

This 3-part seminar guides Health Professionals and Educators 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 clinician-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 health care


Seminar leader

Eva-Marie Stern, RP, MA, Adjunct Professor U of T Dept of Psychiatry, is an art therapist, psychotherapist and award-winning medical 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” 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 learning and exploration initiatives in hospitals, museums, community studios and within her private practice, artandmind.

Time and place

Wednesdays February 19, 26 and March 4, 2020

Art Gallery of Ontario


Open to all U of T Faculty and Alumni of all disciplines on a first-come, first-served basis. 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: