Rx/Museum: Art & Reflection in Medicine
- Lyndsay M. Hoy, M.D.
- Perelman School of Medicine, School of Arts & Sciences, Slought
Developed by a consortium of educators and clinicians at Penn Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania, the Rx/Museum initiative features a curated series of online artworks from the collections of leading art institutions in Philadelphia. Every Monday, subscribers receive an emailed “dose” of art and an essay, followed by questions for reflection, which probe the connections of the artwork to medicine. Sometimes, the artwork’s content is explicitly medical; pieces have dealt with addiction, gender, disability, abortion, and death and aging. But most explore questions about medicine in more subtle or subterranean ways. How does the form of this work relate to the ecology of the hospital? How does the ideology advanced or critiqued by a work compare to ideologies implicit to Western medicine? The essays perennially explore implicit bias, race, stigma and other social justice themes to intentionally stimulate dialogue on structural determinants of health and the need to cultivate compassion for all patient populations. Through a weaving of art history with contemporary reflection within a medical context, Rx/Museum seeks to democratize the arts and render them more accessible to clinicians, and to translate the humanities into practical and useful applications in medicine.