Two Boonshoft School of Medicine faculty selected for prestigious Harvard Macy Institute fellowships

Jonathan Pincus, artist in residence and clinical professional associate of surgery at the Boonshoft School of Medicine.

Jonathan Pincus, artist in residence and clinical professional associate of surgery at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and adjunct faculty at the College of Liberal Arts, and Joon Shim, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, have both been awarded fellowships at the Macy Institute at Harvard University.

The highly competitive honor is an opportunity to join the 2020 Art Museum-based Health Professions Education Fellowship. They are two of the 12 Fellows selected, representing diverse backgrounds and expertise to form a new cohort for 2020. Together, the cohort of fellows represents the international community and regions around the globe.

The Harvard Macy Institute was established in 1994 with a grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. The institute is a collaborative effort of Harvard Medical School, the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard Business School that brings together health care professionals, educators and leaders to brainstorm and design innovative solutions to the critical challenges facing health care today. The institute’s goal is to have a lasting impact on the way medicine is practiced and students are educated.

Shim and Pincus are looking forward to joining the dialogue to improve patient care. They will use this opportunity to expand upon their research assessing the impact of using visual arts in medical education on medical students’ clinical and non-clinical skills and well-being.

At Wright State University, Shim and Pincus have studied how intentional training of observational skills can improve medical students’ diagnostic acumen for the physical examination of patients in clinic and the hospital bedside. In addition, they collaborate to study how perceptual training using drawing can enhance medical students’ mastery of gross anatomy.

Drawing is used as an active learning tool to slow down the fast pace of medical education. It becomes a means to notice and describe minute details and visualize thought. The focus on seeing, observing and accurate recording of perceptions through the art and craft of drawing adds another dimension to working things out and understanding one’s experience. Shim and Pincus have found an added benefit of the training is its positive impact on the health and wellness of the participants.

Joon Shim, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at the Boonshoft School of Medicine.

Together, they teach several classes at the Boonshoft School of Medicine and, next month, they will be sharing their research during a podium presentation at the 15th Annual Academic Surgical Congress.

“We are very thrilled and honored to receive the fellowship,” said Pincus, a professional artist who has additional training as an art historian.

Wright State students of any major can experience this for themselves, too. Pincus teaches one of the four drawing sections currently offered by the Department of Art and Art History in the College of Liberal Arts.

“Drawing is a form of cognition that will improve your visual intelligence, and your ability to perceive and communicate,” Pincus said. “It will enable you to make sense of your direct visual experience.”

Collaborating with other Harvard Macy Institute scholars will offer Shim and Pincus the opportunity to meet with fellow scholars in a collegial, think-tank atmosphere that provides them with not only an environment conducive to deep engagement with the challenges they face but practical input from others to help address them.

“Participation will allow us to expand our work beyond the limitations of a single-institution study. We can join the conversation and look at the commonalities of a variety of medical school offerings to create something that’s scalable and systemic that can be incorporated into the generalized medical curriculum,” Pincus said.

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