Impact of art and reflective practice on medical education in the emergency department

Nicole Kovach, Samantha Dix, Gabrielle Brand, Zarrin S. Siddiqui, Antonio Celenza, Daniel M. Fatovich, Kelli Innes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: There is heightened intrigue surrounding the application of arts-based pedagogy in medical education. Art encompasses multiple forms of expression and is used to convey specific meaning and emotion, whereas provoking critical reflection. Our aim was to explore the effectiveness of art and reflective practice in medical education, in the context of the ED. Methods: Longitudinal methodological study design. Prior to the first, and after the final clinical practicum, medical students watched a 3-min film: 'The Art of the ED'. Written reflections focused on changing perceptions towards the film during their medical education programme. Data were thematically analysed. Results: Three themes were collected from 25 written reflections and included: 'professional growth' exploring personal and professional development across the medical programme; seeing 'patients are people'; and the purpose, structure and function of an ED exposed in 'the reality of ED'. Results highlight that arts-based pedagogy can facilitate meaningful and critical reflection in medical students, whereas also fostering professionalism. Reflecting on the film broadened their perspective into a realm of new possibilities, challenging them to identify implicit bias around ED, and promote professional identity formation. Conclusions: The combination of art and reflection in medical education enhances reflective learning and can lead to transformative change, including the development of core doctoring values of service, empathy and respect for patient. There are clear benefits to medical education incorporating more arts-based pedagogy that promotes reflective exploration and interpretation of the psychosocial context of health and illness, delivery of more holistic models of care and their role as doctors.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalEmergency Medicine Australasia
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Dec 2022


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