Director Art-Brain Innovations Distinguished Scholar in Residence for The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History (EODIAH)
As director of art-brain innovations at the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth®, Bonnie Pitman expands her research and teaching of the art of observation, meditation and compassion. Her Power of Observation initiative connects neurological research with the experience and process of seeing, looking and observing. Through her daily practice to "Do Something New," she invites the exploration and celebration of making an ordinary day extraordinary while dealing with chronic illness. Areas of additional interest are teaching about the history of art and medicine and the power of observation to physicians and medical students.
Bonnie's innovative initiatives in the field of medicine and the arts at UTD have been featured in The New York Times and Dallas Morning News. Her work deals with the close observation of works of art to enhance diagnostic skills needed for medical practice. In 2016, she organized a national convening of Art Museums and Medical Schools at The Museum of Modern Art, NYC and launched a website with resources for the art and medical fields. She teaches a course, “The Art of Examination,” for UT Southwestern Medical School students. Bonnie’s new work with the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth expands her research and teaching of the art of observation, meditation and compassion as it relates to looking at works of art. The program pairs neuroscience with her daily practice to “Do Something New” that invites the exploration and celebration of making an ordinary day extraordinary while dealing with chronic illness.
Beverly Fishman is a visual artist whose work explores the role and representations of pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry in contemporary culture. She creates sculptural paintings—large, constructed installations with hypersaturated colors and industrial-like slick surfaces—that evoke the design of pills, their combinations in drug “cocktails,” and the colors and surfaces of drug advertising. They also comment on drug overprescription and dependence and the ways medications not only treat but define illness.
With the rapid growth and great interest in the development of new courses and curricula involving art museums and medical schools, there is a need to exchange information and to create a network of colleagues in both the art museum and medical professions. These connections will expedite mutual learning, which can then be shared with medical students.
The classes at the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas are rigorous and fast-paced, designed to prepare future doctors for the life-and-death situations they’ll face in hospitals. But they don’t prepare students to treat patients like people. So when a class of nearly two dozen medical students, slowly wanders through the halls of the Dallas Museum of Art, they’re not there to visit. They’re there to learn. These students are all participants in “Art of Examination,” a collaborative course put together by Bonnie Pitman.
The Art of Examination
Based on "The Art of Examination," a preclinical elective for medical students at UT Southwestern Medical School, follow modules led by Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at UT Dallas Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, Dr. Heather Go, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at UT Southwestern, and UT Southwestern medical students. Improve visual diagnostic skills, increase attention to detail, embrace other viewpoints, work collaboratively, and practice mindfulness, empathy and compassion by engaging with the power of art in the Dallas Museum of Art.
Power of Red
Bonnie Pitman's talk on the Power of RED: learn the history, culture, and science behind the color RED.
Do Something New
Discover the benefits and brain science of doing something new every single day. Bonnie Pitman shares the story of how she created her Do Something NEW practice.