This year's mini medical school will take a look at the science behind the arts and medicine as participants will learn how observation skills play into understanding both.

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is partnering with the Taubman Museum of Art to host this year’s series called “The Art of Observation: From Gallery to Clinic.”

This is the annual mini med school in which the public is invited to participate. Registration is required, and the cost is $15.

The program will take place 5:30 to 7 p.m., over three consecutive Wednesdays in January, with activities at the medical school on Jan. 15 and 29 and at the art museum on Jan. 22.

“From the information doctors gather through patient observations to the way artists portray the world around them, this Mini Medical School is sure to make you pay closer attention to what and how you observe,” Dave Trinkle, associate dean for community and culture at the medical school, said in a news release. “We are delighted to partner with the Taubman Museum of Art on this, especially since scientific and artistic observation are so similar. Truly the only difference is what we are observing.”

“Participants will be challenged to try observing using different approaches,” said Cindy Petersen, executive director of the Taubman Museum of Art. “This flexes our observation muscles and strengthens this skill. It also teaches us how others observe, which leads to better observations as individuals and teams.”

During the first week a panel of physicians will review cases that had both good and bad observation outcomes.

During the second lesson, participants will visit the Taubman galleries and take part in activities designed to strengthen observation skills, along with team building, communication and empathy.

The third week, the class will take part in a mock clinical encounter to demonstrate the concept of implicit bias and who attitudes and stereotypes affect understanding in an unconscious manner.

For more information, contact Courtney Powell at 540-526-2588 or

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