At the Baltimore Museum of Art, medical
students study a painting, blocking out the figures so they can
concentrate on the background.
Meets the Museum
Med students hone their observational skills
in the gallery
Med students hone their observational skills in the gallery Second-year
medical student Rush Chewning peered at the reclining figure.
The man’s eyes were closed, his head thrust back, his right
hand hung limply at his side. “He’s either sleeping
or exhausted,” Chewning speculated, as his fellow students
looked on. “He’s not dead because he’s got good
color. He’s either wounded or out cold.”
“He’s not wounded,” another student said. “He
doesn’t appear to be in pain.” Others noted the woman
at his side. “She has a certain lightness to her face. She
seems radiant.” Still others studied the bare-breasted woman.
“She’s a little disturbing. Are those fish scales
starting at the hip?”
The subjects of this evolving diagnosis were not living people,
but figures in a painting.