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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Music, Medicine, and the Art of Listening


The use of the arts in medical education has become increasingly widespread. Narrative and visual media, in particular, have received great attention as tools for teaching skills of empathy, observation and reflection. Music, however, has been relatively less applied in this context, and may be perceived as lacking immediate relevance to medicine. In this article, we first review various areas of interface between music and medicine. We then describe a curricular innovation undertaken at our institution using musical performance to demonstrate the value of music as a metaphor for communication in the practice of medicine.

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