'Tools of the trade' cover
'Tools of the trade',
a poetry book given to
graduating doctors in Scotland.

Literature, art and music can have an important part to play in helping doctors heal the sick.

The arts can provide a unique insight into disease and death, helping doctors to understand their patients and develop greater empathy.

This issue is to be discussed by leading members of the medical profession at a meeting being held at the National Library of Scotland on 15 February. It will examine if there is a role for national institutions such as the Library in supporting such initiatives.

The meeting has been organised by the Government's former Chief Medical Office Professor Sir Kenneth Calman, who now chairs the Board of the National Library, and Professor John Gillies, former Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Scotland.

It will seek to reach agreement on the best way forward for helping medical students and practising doctors gain a greater appreciation of the importance of the arts in the practice of medicine.

See also our medicine and arts media release

15 February 2017