When art, wellness and anatomy meet
The Faculty of Medicine’s Office of Francophone Affairs, the Medicine and Humanities Program and Médecins francophones du Canada (MdFC) joined forces to publish the first volume of the Anatomy Colouring Book, Muscles and Bones.
Emergence of a Concept
It was during an evaluation meeting with medical students to discuss the Symposium on Student Wellness (an activity also organized in partnership with BAF), that Lyne Champoux, project director for MdFC, had the idea of creating a medical colouring book.
“I asked the medical students that served on the Symposium’s Scientific Committee in Ottawa, to brainstorm on gift ideas related to wellness for Seminar participants. With very few suggestions received, I asked them if they enjoyed colouring. For me, this relaxing and trending activity is directly related to wellness. To my big surprise, all students said they did, even male students,” explained Champoux.
“They explained that they used colouring to review anatomy. And just like that, an idea was born! Following our discussion, I contacted Dr. Ali Jalali, head of the Anatomy department at the University of Ottawa. He was thrilled to hear about this fun concept.”
Colouring to Learn
Already calling upon students to illustrate the anatomy podcasts Dr. Jalali creates for the iAnatomie.ca website and his YouTube channel, Dr. Alireza Jalali was the perfect choice as a leader to develop, this innovative project for BAF. Therefore, it was under his supervision that AiLi Wang and Stéphanie Benoît, both artists and medical students, collaborated on creating magnificent drawings to illustrate the book. It was very challenging because they had to keep it educational without it becoming too visually overloaded.
In fact, Dr. Jalali added that, “When we use many senses, the information travels more easily from the short-term to the long-term memory, which promotes better information retention.” The colouring book is also used as a review tool for medical students, allowing them to work with images to retain information in a different way.
The artistic touch in the visual presentation of the project was an important aspect as a publication like this promotes creativity and emotion channelling through self-expression and our vision of the body. The main goal was to make the book appealing to allow the mind to escape and to release tensions.
The gamble on educational art-therapy was a definite success.
After a year of hard work, the first volume of the Anatomy Colouring Book, Muscles and Bones, was launched on October 27 in Montreal in front of 800 participants during the Annual Congress of Medicine organized by Médecins francophones du Canada. The executive director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts was also in attendance.
How to Get your Copy
The colouring book is available for a $10 voluntary donation to the Anatomy School Fund to help support, among other things, similar initiatives and to finance learning activities along with the purchase of learning devices and technologies.
If you would like to receive a copy, please contact the Office of Francophone Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org