Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sweet Music to Patients' Ears, Musicians Help Physicians Tune in to Patients at University of Western Ontario, Schulich School of Medicine

Music and medicine is in the news today at The University of Western Ontario this Tuesday, April 15, with London Free Press reporter John Miner's article, "Sweet Music to Patients' Ears." Miner reports that James McKay, Professor at the Don Wright Faculty of Music, brought music students to the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry to help train medical students how to listen to their patients.

In the article, Dr. Terri Paul, Assistant Professor at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry explains,
"We physicians tend to talk a lot and talk quickly, and usually interrupt patients within about 18 seconds of them starting to tell us their story. This is learning to sit back and listen. It's also about learning to read patients' non-verbal signals."
Dr. Terri Paul

(A recent report on health literacy from the Canadian Public Health Association, found communication between doctors and patients wasn’t as effective as it could be. Western’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry and The Don Wright Faculty of Music teamed up to provide medical students with ways to improve their lines of communication. “The Sound of Silence: Developing Effective Patient Partnerships” was one of a series of lectures given by Professors in Music and Medicine which focused on listening and speaking with patients as equal partners and illustrated the skills that musicians use playing in a small group to communicate both verbally and non-verbally. )
source: http://www.schulich.uwo.ca/news/index.php?article=000439

I have published posts about a number of programmes in Canada that use the arts in medical education. This is yet another indication that the arts in many forms when applied in education and training can help increase sensitivity and understanding in the physician, patient relationship. CM