By Wendy Sarubbi | February 24, 2014 1:13 pm

A UCF College of Medicine student known for his passion for the arts and medicine applied both to this year’s American Medical Association Medical Student Section (AMA-MSS) meeting in Atlanta. Second-year student Michael Metzner serves as vice chairperson for the AMA student organization’s Region 4 (Southeastern United States). He was in charge of planning this year’s meeting February 7-9 for nearly 200 students  at the Emory University School of Medicine.

He reached out to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), which offered workshops on how creativity can build better physicians. One session showcased an artistic representation of the diseased body, in an effort to bring a more humanistic approach to clinical care. “I really wanted to expose medical students to the arts and how it can be applied to healthcare.” Metzner said. “It’s a great way to unite medical students talking about health, and art students who can give visual tools for us.”

As part of the community service portion of the meeting, attendees volunteered at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, talking to children about a variety of health topics from hygiene to healthy eating. In keeping with the “Arts in Medicine” theme, SCAD students created a coloring book for the children to accompany the day’s lesson.  Medical school attendees also learned specific skills like suturing and ultrasound, received updates on healthcare reform heard from keynote speaker Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.

Student AMA Officer Jessica Deslauriers, who attends medical school at the University of South Florida, applauded the event’s scope of topics. “In addition to exploring their creative interests, students had the opportunity to improve their leadership skills, educate children about healthy lifestyles and learn about relevant healthcare policy.  It was a great event,” she said.

The “Arts in Medicine” theme was fueled by research findings that medical students who analyze artwork have better observational and diagnostic skills in a clinical setting. “I think working as a creative team shows that you don’t have to be in a small “box” of medicine to really contribute,” Metzner said.

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