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Using paintings to explore the medical humanities in a Nepalese medical school
  1. P R Shankar1,
  2. R M Piryani2
  1. 1
    Department of Medical Education, KIST Medical College, Lalitpur, Nepal
  2. 2
    Department of Medicine, KIST Medical College, Lalitpur, Nepal
  1. Correspondence to Dr P Ravi Shankar, KIST Medical College, P.O. Box 14142, Kathmandu, Nepal; ravi.dr.shankar{at}

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Visual art has been used in medical humanities programmes in many places. Participation in art observation workshops has been shown to improve the visual diagnostic skills of medical students.

KIST Medical College is a new medical school in Lalitpur district, Nepal. A medical humanities module, Sparshanam (meaning touch in Sanskrit, the mother of most South Asian languages), for medical students is conducted for around 90 minutes on Wednesday mornings. Case scenarios, brainstorming sessions, facilitator inputs, role-plays, debates and student activities were used in the module. Paintings and associated activities were widely used. The participants were asked to brainstorm about a painting in small groups and to comment on the questions “what do you see?” and “what do you feel?” They were asked to create and recite/sing a song or a poem about the scene depicted in the painting, write a short sketch of about 100 words about the painting and explore issues depicted in the painting using role-plays.

We now describe three paintings and …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.