ACR Bulletin

Covering topics relevant to the practice of radiology

Combining Art and Medicine

The ACR Art Subcommittee of the Patient- and Family-Centered Care Commission showcased radiologists' art at ACR 2022.
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June 24, 2022
After two long years of virtual meetings and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACR Art Subcommittee of the Patient- and Family-Centered Care Commission recognized that ACR 2022 needed to have an element of human connection. The Subcommittee’s showcase at the conference, “Health and Wellness,” featured a variety of works including sculptures, cartoons, oil paintings, photographs, and drawings. Erin A. Cooke, MD, director of arts in radiology at Vanderbilt University and chair of the Subcommittee, talked with the Bulletin about how the exhibit came about and how the Subcommittee hopes to further explore the relationship between arts and radiology.

What was the Subcommittee’s goal with incorporating art into the ACR 2022?

The Subcommittee was very excited to include not only a virtual gallery but also an in-person showing of art at ACR 2022. We hoped the live event would help members to understand the impact of the arts in radiology and would inspire radiologists to bring home enthusiasm and ideas for including art in their departments. We also aspired to contribute to the variety of experiences available for meeting attendees by adding a novel element to enhance their overall experience.

How did the art submissions this year showcase the theme of health and wellness?

The pieces had a variety of connections to the theme. Some utilized humor, others illustrated the beauty or calm of nature, and some portrayed a sense of playfulness. Others showed more literal depictions of anatomy or human relationships. It was great to see the range of expression and interpretation from our artists. One of the themes of ACR 2022 was health and wellness so this exhibit was a natural extension of this theme.

When will the Subcommittee begin accepting submissions for ACR 2023?

The Subcommittee will be planning for ACR 2023 this fall, so we do not have exact submission dates set for the next art exhibit. However, I anticipate that we will begin soliciting submissions from radiologists and trainees in early 2023. Subcommittee members will continue to advertise the application process via Twitter, so that is one way for members to follow the timeline.

Do you plan to expand the process down the road beyond visual arts?

The Subcommittee is excited to potentially widen the scope to include more forms of the arts, such as music and literature, in our radiology community. Over time, we hope to develop ways to include these other art forms in both virtual and in-person forums. We would also like to explore avenues to showcase art created by our radiologists in patient spaces and to broaden community outreach.

How can the arts support radiologist wellness?

The arts promote radiologist wellness directly by providing an outlet for personal expression. Many of us separate personal interests, such as art, from our professional lives, but as a field we may benefit from more integration of the two. Even a small amount of incorporation of art into our spaces, such as projects showcasing local artists, can help radiologists, staff, and patients feel at ease in our departments. It can also help contribute to a more inclusive environment by highlighting diversity in our communities.