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Expanding the scope of medical education

It might be hard to put your finger on, but Duke often allows students to make their classes more personal.

The university’s emphasis on interdisciplinary education is a major initiative to color the academic experience of its students. Examples of such connections between people, classes, disciplines, and departments abound, but few tangibly represent these connections, such as the SCOPES project, which connects the arts and humanities to medical education at Duke University. There is none.

under water By Mihir Patel, 2022. Image courtesy of SCOPES.

art and medicine can It exists in a completely different world.they can It appeals to different people and tells different stories. But why should it be simple when you can? You can combine them to form something powerful. That’s exactly what SCOPES leadership members Isa DeLaura, Raluca Gosman, Mason Seely, David Stevens, and Lindsay Olson set out to do.

“As a former senior in the program, it is encouraging to see up-and-coming students continuing the tradition of incorporating the humanities into medical practice,” says Mason Seeley. The generational aspect of the project seems to contribute to its personality. Participants just bring their perspectives to their work, and dozens more walk away.

“Having a creative outlet allowed me to handle patient interactions, professional difficulties, and celebrate happy moments,” says Isa DeLaura.

“The goal is to allow artists the creative freedom to explore their relationship with their patients in whatever medium and style is best for them. I have.”

Isa Delora, MS3+

David Stevens argues that artists “resist the power of denying the individual in an engaging and beautiful way.”

This project is inspired by and supported by yet another interdisciplinary Duke initiative called APPLE (Longitudinal Encounter to Assess Patient Perspectives), which connects medical students with chronic disease patients. The artist/medical student/empath-in-training has since participated in multiple creative workshops and developed works of art to reflect the personal experiences of her patients. The upcoming SCOPES exhibition will be a little different from previous exhibitions (which you can easily browse online).

Having attended many art openings, I can safely say that a lot of my enjoyment comes from the cheese plate (and the excitement in the air, but that’s not the point). chose traditional charcuterie, some marking Kirkland signatures and others displayed on handcrafted butcher blocks. But it also encourages attendees to “just drop by”, making the relationship more intimate.

Following the restrictions on group gatherings Duke conducted during COVID, the SCOPES team decided to apply their new interdisciplinary/revolutionary/innovative thinking to the art opening itself. they had a banquet.

“We love the results,” says DeLaura. “It was very personal and made for great discussion and camaraderie.”

fence, river, wall By Taylor Yoder, 2022. Image courtesy of SCOPES.

“SCOPES has provided me with an opportunity to reflect on my experiences as a first-year medical student, as well as explore new ways of combining different art forms to create my vision.” , fence, river, wall, Photo above. “Throughout my medical education and career, I hope to continue making films.”

I was especially (unfairly) surprised by the variety of exhibits. Although the artists attended the same workshops and worked with patients through the same programs, they took radically different approaches to their work. Her sophomore in medical school, Esme Trahair, was an undergraduate major in humanities. Her work combines historical perspectives with modern (albeit outdated) mechanisms, and she emphasizes “the importance of remembering and learning from historical and outdated medical teachings.” increase.

for the record By Esme Trahair, 2022. Image courtesy of SCOPES.

The work features a variety of perspectives, but also contains distinct motifs that will serve as key points for future healthcare providers. Like Yoder, the artist her Kreager Taber explores the value of a patient’s “home.” Exploring these motifs may enable more personal ‘upstream’ healthcare.

This year’s SCOPES exhibition will be held at the Mars Gallery in the Duke University Hospital Concourse. This is an initiative of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and Medical History at Duke University School of Medicine. It will be on display from August 9th to September 29th and can be viewed online at this link.


There is a link for MS1 students interested in participating in PS SCOPES.

Posted by Olivia Ares, Class of 2025