Seth Godin often writes and talks about art. His art seems broadly defined, and I agree that art goes far beyond what a person does with pen, paint, or clay. However, it’s hard to imagine where art comes into play in the medical field. I’ve always considered myself pretty creative, so for a long time I struggled with how I can bring art and creativity to a medical career. When dealing with people’s health and their lives, it’s probably not a great idea to be taking risks and trying new things. That being said, viewing the practice of medicine simply as prescribing medications, treating symptoms, and giving diagnoses, is a pretty dismal and narrow perspective.
I realized that my answer was already part of why I wanted to be a doctor; the relationships and interactions. Art in medicine can be in my interactions with patients, in doing the emotional labor (á la Seth) that improves patient compliance and outcomes. Art could also be in new approaches to healthcare as a whole or in new interdisciplinary connections.
The issue isn’t doing something that allows you to do art, it’s finding the art in what you do.