Spring applications are now open for a new UF online master’s degree program in arts in medicine.
The two-year program from the UF Center for Arts in Medicine is the first of its kind to be created in the nation. The demand for art programs in health care environments has been on the rise.
“Art programs are used in numerous ways to transform the hospital experience for patients, visitors, caregivers and staff,” said Leah Craig, a public relations and marketing manager for the College of the Arts. “Art experiences range from painting to creative writing to dance.”
For the 35-credit program, students will be enrolled in one class at a time.
Craig said this is beneficial because any student can participate from around the world.
Founded in 1999 from the Shands Arts in Medicine program’s clinical work, the center’s mission is to facilitate medical research, education and training with arts, expand students’ career opportunities as artists in the medical field and help students find ways to help patients heal through creative outlets.
Courses include graduate practicum, foundation of the arts in medicine and various electives. Students are also required to devote 16 hours a week to each eight-week, three-credit hour course.
Nine students are already enrolled in the Fall program.
Dylan Klempner, the graduate programs adviser, said the art and medicine program students help humanize the hospital experience for patients.
“We have administrators, people who have done public health work,” Klempner said. “We have one person who works as a curator for the university art collection, so it kind of puts us in a unique place.”
Klempner also expects an increase in Spring term students, and the new class will be capped at 30 students.
“The field is still pretty small, but it’s growing pretty quickly,” he said.
The deadline for Spring admission is Nov. 3, and the Summer admission deadline will be March 2.
“It’s important for physicians to not strictly be science and math oriented, but rather, also have an appreciation and understanding of the arts and culture,” said Janine Wolf, a 19-year-old UF telecommunication sophomore. “The combination of communication allows me to think critically and creatively about health and medicine.”
[A version of this story ran on page 8 on 10/15/2014]