The Art of Medicine
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Good medicine lives at the intersection of art and science. Some five hundred years after its creation, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” remains one of civilization’s most admired works of art and medical touchstones; we marvel at its geometrical elegance. The Renaissance perspective applies to the healing arts today. Each body is unique—our bones and organs placed just so—and for the master surgeon drawing his blade or the specialist orchestrating a diagnosis, analytic acumen must be matched by artistic intuition. The poet John Keats understood it well: “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” Perhaps the truest medicine occurs when dance, photography, and sculpture are meshed with mechanics, neurology, and surgery. When this happens, what does it look like? Here, we present three stories of patients and practitioners who find healing in the interplay of art and medicine.