Penn Medicine News Blog

May 31, 2016 // By Sally Sapega // Comments

Art: The Heart and Soul of Medicine

Measures that Matter // Patient- and Family-Centered Care

Cochlear implant paintingFor the past six years, the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, the outpatient care facility adjacent to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, has organized an annual Celebration of Art and Life Exhibition. The display – which now comprises well over 100 framed paintings and photos— lines the walls of the Center’s atrium for the entire year. It is only during the few days needed to take down one year’s exhibit in preparation for the next that the walls are bare … and, ironically, that’s when art shows its true impact. “The empty walls seem so drab. You realize how much life it brings to the environment,” said Garry Scheib, chief operating officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and chief executive officer of HUP at the recent opening of this year’s exhibition.

More and more, studies are showing the positive impact of art on the healing process. “It is the heart and soul of medicine,” said Mahendra Bhati, MD, an assistant professor of Clinical Psychiatry. “It helps people perceive the world, and what we perceive can influence how we feel.”

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