Saturday, October 25, 2008

an art

"don't be so mechanical," she said, "medicine is an art!"

i remember a long, long time ago i fretted about whether medicine, something which harps on evidence-based practices and technology, would restrict the artsy side of me. while i'm enjoying (almost) every moment of my clinical training now, i still find myself most alive when appreciating literature and the performing arts. if you want to get me going in a passionate debate, it will probably be about education, not any particular field of medicine.

it's something that worries me greatly. what if medicine really is a rigid metal box that won't allow me to exercise my love for the arts? what if i run out of steam even before i begin?

but recently i've realised that i've been the one putting medicine into a confined space. i have noticed that only part of clinical practice is application of knowledge and science. the rest involves intuition, some imagination and alot of dexterity in terms of using the gifts God has given us - our hands, our bodies, every one of our five senses.

i have come to believe that medicine is really a celebration of the human race. it has developed our ability to think logically, piqued our curiosity enough to launch wide-scale investigations into the workings of not just the human body but the wide world of science in general, and yet it requires the elements that make us human or else it would be totally meaningless. if we take the definition of art to be a human activity made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions, medicine is an art in every single way.

that realisation has comforted me somewhat, although now i am worried about the possibility that i have locked myself into the same rigid metal space that i had originally reserved for medicine. perhaps i will never be able to practice it as an art form.

what will happen then?

lishun at 6:11 AM