How do we encourage doctors to create?

Vidya Viswanathan vidya@doctorswhocreate.com

Abstract

Creativity has never been more important in medicine. We need innovative solutions to healthcare policy issues, research conundrums, and patient communication problems. However, many people who are considering a medical career, or already on the medical path, begin to view their creative interests and their interest in medicine as competing entities. Why is it so hard to aspire to be creative in medicine, and how do we change that? Why and how should we make sure institutions and individuals in medicine value creativity? My organization, Doctors Who Create, is made up of a community of people who consider creativity to be integral to medicine. As part of our "Profiles in Creativity" series, we have published over 35 interviews with contemporary creative physicians. This exhibit will review examples of these creative physicians, both contemporary and historical, and how their impact on medical progress is related specifically to their creative pursuits. I will also share my own story of pursuing medicine as a "nontraditional" student and founding the organization Doctors Who Create. I hope to spark a discussion on how we can design a more creative environment in medicine.
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