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Table of Contents
Year : 2023  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 229  

Is art medicine?

Sr. Consultant Cardiologist, Director of HH Publications and Executive Coordinator for Research, Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, P. O. Box 3050, Doha; Director of Non-invasive Cardiology (1981–2014), Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Date of Submission16-Aug-2023
Date of Acceptance17-Aug-2023
Date of Web Publication03-Nov-2023

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rachel Hajar
Department of Cardiology, Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, P. O. Box 3050, Doha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/heartviews.heartviews_91_23

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How to cite this article:
Hajar R. Is art medicine?. Heart Views 2023;24:229

How to cite this URL:
Hajar R. Is art medicine?. Heart Views [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Dec 6];24:229. Available from: https://www.heartviews.org/text.asp?2023/24/4/229/389348

We usually consider drugs as medicine, but art? That is a big question mark! The appreciation of art is a uniquely human quality for it signifies HOPE but is it medicine?

Abstract concepts like music, reading and writing, painting, and dancing are artistic activities and have been known to impact in a positive way the well-being of the patient; but not art, so is art considered medicine?

For an activity to be of value as medicine it must “do” something for the well-being of the patient. In a sense music, reading and writing, painting, and dancing are all artistic endeavors so engaging in these activities has therapeutic value for the patient.

Reading literature and writing can serve as a means of personal and professional development. “We learn from literature by imaginative identification with the situations or characters in literature.” We see other points of view other than our own. Learning of this kind provides a deep understanding which is essential to humane doctoring.

The benefits of dancing as one form of art therapy include improved balance and gait. Patients with Parkinson's Disease have been known to respond to dance. So too, children with various health problems. Hopefully, it is my hope that research will show that dancing will benefit adults with various health problems.

In art, we observe - we hear, and we see. We gather information as physicians. We collect Data. We search for clues in our patients to shed light on the correct diagnosis. Before we can institute treatment, we must have the right diagnosis. We must have an understanding of a complex medical problem. The clue is “to search”. In this sense art is medicine.

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There are no conflicts of interest


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