Outsider Thinking: What Doctors Can Learn From Artists

Raghava KK: So when I told my uncle who is a doctor that I’m speaking at TEDMED he said, “Has the profession suffered some cardiovascular attack?”  I said, “No, no, no.”  I said, “Art and science are not that different.”  To begin with, people stare at naked bodies a lot.  But I also told him both of us really are searching to find ways to articulate ourselves, our lives, who we are. And so I went on to explain to him that we don’t have to be competing with each other.
I really believe that art and science complement one another.  And whether the TEDMED audience really likes art, follows art, believes in art, it really is immaterial.  What I want to convince them about is that art and science are really not that different in their objective.  Just they’re different in the way they approach it.

For example, even in my own work I always leave white spaces for the participation of my viewers.  And the role of the spectator changes from being someone who buys art to someone who sees it to someone who participates in it. When you treat a patient as someone who’s not partaking in their own care and their own health care, there’s an issue.  You have to leave the white spaces for them to come and take ownership of their health, take ownership of their wellbeing.  Artists are learning that and they’re using technology to do that.  And I feel doctors can also do that. 

I thought I was the outsider at TEDMED but I really don’t think I’m that much of an outsider.  And hopefully by the end of my stay there, my time there, I can show them that the outside is also the inside

Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd

Art and science are really not that different in their objective. Just they’re different in the way they approach it.

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