. The career training goals of the Jah Kente International OST Arts and Medicine program are to: 1) deepen your understanding of the academic science behind medicine. 2) provide you with opportunities to engage with graduate medical students. 3) introduce the range of professional possibilities that exist within the medical field, and emerging issues in public health. 4) engage you in understanding the convergence between arts and medicine.
Premedical track will provide our young employees with a broad introduction to the field of medicine, combining coursework in related sciences with project-based learning activities and explorations of the various career possibilities that exist within the medical field.
Seminars: You will attend seminars led by instructors that focus on three core topics: anatomy and physiology, infectious diseases, and contemporary issues in medicine.
One week one, you will engage with material that will introduce you to what medical students experience in the early phase of their education, including:
Virtual didactics of fundamental topics in medicine. The lessons are guided by the principles of learning theory, which facilitates an innovative learning experience that actively engages the learner, increases retention of the material, uses technology (when appropriate), and helps to fuel a spirit of lifelong learning and inquiry.
Clinical case studies: You will engage in discussion sections on various medical fields and public health issues.
Workshops: You will attend workshops led by different medical professionals, such as genetic counselors or radiologists.
Sharing Knowledge: You will meet with medical students and graduate students who will share their experiences in the sciences.
In the last two weeks of the program, our youth employees will engage in a project-based activity focusing on an emerging issue in public health.
There are plenty of remote social activities to make sure our young employee become familiar with each other! You can participate in scheduled group activities and will be able to mix it up and join other youths in the field and from afar for a variety of scheduled remote events.
Creativity, Medicine, and the Arts
"While the arts and sciences might sometimes be viewed as opposite ends of a spectrum, students and faculty at Harvard Medical School (HMS) are embracing a convergence between these fields and seeing the benefits of artistic practice in their medical careers.” News & Research, Harvard Medical School, by Juliet Bernini, published on December 12, 2017.
The mission of the Arts and Humanities initiative is to promote and continue artistic practice that students come in doing, and to underscore that the integration of arts and humanities and medicine is a natural thing,” said Lisa Wong, co-director of the initiative and Harvard Medical School assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“The art of music relies entirely on listening for the story and emotions in each piece, which is similar to how a physician listens for a patient's narrative and emotions.” “To me, the parallels between music, especially ensemble music, and the practice of medicine, are endless. Both require a foundational level of skill, built up over years of dedicated practice. But on top of that technical expertise, there is another layer of artistic interpretation,” said Pamela Chen, a HMS student.
Eric Chang, a then a first-year student at HMS, who played violin in the Longwood Symphony Orchestra, which has brought medical professionals together to play music and benefited nonprofits for more than three decades. “Ultimately, both music and medicine are messy and ever-changing and human, and both can bring people together to heal.”
Some of the musicians have even found their artistic practice translates into better doctor-patient relationships. “Another parallel is in the art of listening and communicating without words,” said Chang. “The art of music relies entirely on listening for the story and emotions in each piece, which is similar to how a physician listens for a patient's narrative and emotions.”
“In the arts and as a clinician, the intangibles are really important. You have to be completely present to what’s going on, otherwise you’re going to miss cues, misdiagnose or not respond appropriately to a patient's discomfort,” said Isaac Chua, HMS instructor in medicine and a palliative care doctor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a member of the Longwood Chorus.
Jah Kente International uses this article, among several examples, to explore and implement art-based project medical drama in medicine and bioethics. We encourage any youth considering this career choice for read the article. Youths will explorations of topics on medicine and issues in bioethics through theatrical performances with the help of professionals in ethics, dance, and theatre.
As indicated "the idea of using the performing arts in medical education is not new. Dramatic and performance arts have been used as a tool to help explore and reflect on their own values and behaviors and to help them gain insight into the role they play through dramatic improvisation and as an audience participant."
Can music really affect your well-being, learning, cognitive function, quality of life, and even happiness? A recent survey on music and brain health conducted by AARP revealed some interesting findings about the impact of music on cognitive and emotional well-being:
Music listeners had higher scores for mental well-being and slightly reduced levels of anxiety and depression compared to people overall.
Of survey respondents who currently go to musical performances, 69% rated their brain health as “excellent” or “very good,” compared to 58% for those who went in the past and 52% for those who never attended.
Of those who reported often being exposed to music as a child, 68% rated their ability to learn new things as “excellent” or “very good,” compared to 50% of those who were not exposed to music.
Active musical engagement, including those over age 50, was associated with higher rates of happiness and good cognitive function.
Adults with no early music exposure but who currently engage in some music appreciation show above average mental well-being scores.
Let’s take a closer look at this study. Those are pretty impressive results, to be sure. However, this 20-minute online survey has some limitations. For one, it included 3,185 US adults ages 18 and older; that is a small number if you are extrapolating to 328 million people across the country. For another, it is really a survey of people’s opinions. For example, although people might report their brain health as “excellent,” there was no objective measure of brain health such as an MRI scan, or even a test to measure their cognition.
Lastly, even if the ratings were true, the findings are only correlations. They do not prove that, for example, it was the exposure to music as a child that led to one’s improved ability to learn new things. It may be equally likely that those children brought up in more affluent households were both more likely to be exposed to music and to be given a good education that led to their being able to easily learn new things later in life.
But let’s assume that the results of the AARP survey are indeed true. How can music have such impressive brain effects? Although we don’t know the answers for sure, developments in cognitive neuroscience over the last few years have allowed us to speculate on some possible mechanisms.
Music activates just about all of the brain. Music has been shown to activate some of the broadest and most diverse networks of the brain. Of course, music activates the auditory cortex in the temporal lobes close to your ears, but that’s just the beginning. The parts of the brain involved in emotion are not only activated during emotional music, they are also synchronized. Music also activates a variety of memory regions. And, interestingly, music activates the motor system. In fact, it has been theorized that it is the activation of the brain’s motor system that allows us to pick out the beat of the music even before we start tapping our foot to it!
Use it or lose it.
Okay, so music activates just about all of the brain. Why is that so important? Well, have you ever heard the expression, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it”? It turns out this is actually true in the brain. Brain pathways — and even whole networks — are strengthened when they are used and are weakened when they are not used. The reason is that the brain is efficient; it isn’t going to bother keeping a brain pathway strong when it hasn’t been used in many years. The brain will use the neurons in that pathway for something else. These types of changes should be intuitively obvious to you — that’s why it is harder to speak that foreign language if you haven’t used it in 20 years; many of the old pathways have degraded and the neurons are being used for other purposes.
Music keeps your brain networks strong. So just how does music promote well-being, enhance learning, stimulate cognitive function, improve quality of life, and even induce happiness? The answer is, because music can activate almost all brain regions and networks, it can help to keep a myriad of brain pathways and networks strong, including those networks that are involved in well-being, learning, cognitive function, quality of life, and happiness. In fact, there is only one other situation in which you can activate so many brain networks all at once, and that is when you participate in social activities.
Dance the night away. How do you incorporate music into your life? It’s easy to do. Although the AARP survey found that those who actively listened to music showed the strongest brain benefits, even those who primarily listened to background music showed benefits, so you can turn that music on right now. Music can lift your mood, so put on a happy tune if you are feeling blue. Uptempo music can give you energy. And if you combine music with an aerobic and social activity, you can receive the maximum health benefit from it. Participate in a Zumba class. Do jazz aerobics. Jump to the rhythms of rock & roll. Or, better yet, go dancing. (And yes, in a pandemic, you can still benefit by doing these activities virtually.)