The pairing of science and art represents a practical
approach to simplify the complexity of anatomical education. Medical drawing allows learners to develop a
deeper understanding of the body’s functions, thus optimizing higher education
in the health sciences. During the first half of the semester, the central
learning objective was two-fold: becoming acquainted with the field of medical
illustration and its many facets as well as learning the fundamentals of
drawing. Discussions focused on decision-making in the composition design
process as well as in the effectiveness of artistic elements. During the second
half of the semester, necessitated by COVID-19, the course transitioned to
online synchronous meetings via Zoom. All the students continued to draw,
collaborate, and share feedback of their progress. The students found that
their learning by drawing was therapeutic, especially while self-isolating.
Student feedback was 100% positive.
Indirectly, we aimed to nurture the students’ problem solving and investigative
skills. This learner-centered elective course represented a unique experience
for scientifically minded students to use skills other than the traditional
modalities for their academic learning. Collectively, these principles support
self-directed, life-long learning. In summary, this multi-disciplinary
learner-centered approach to teaching anatomy motivates and reinforces student
learning within the health sciences.