International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
DOI: 10.56734/ijahss
Using the art of medical illustration to enhance anatomy education


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.