It is often said that medicine is an ‘art’ as well as a science. By ‘art’ we mean craft, skill or talent, but practising an art also requires imagination – a quality that is sometimes overlooked as an important part of medicine. This playlist showcases examples of where the application of imagination – and sometimes the failure of imagination – has shaped our understandings of medical practice, medical institutions, and concepts of health and healthcare. Examples in the playlist are also of interest for the way medical stories are told. People are drawn to stories that have narrative arcs: a building of tension, an epiphany, and a resolution. Interrogating narrative techniques in representations of complex stories helps to develop our narrative and aesthetic sensibilities. These are useful attributes for anyone aspiring to work in healthcare professions.
Giskin Day, Principal Teaching Fellow, Imperial College London
- Medical humanities
- Health humanities
Imagination, narrative, medical research, medical practice