Accomplished fine artist Professor Daniel Duffy was recently appointed the first Fellow in the Humanities at the Graduate-Entry Medical School, University of Limerick (UL). His position as artist-in-residence is the first of its kind for a medical school in Ireland and is supported by Lundbeck Ireland, a pharmaceutical company specialising in the treatment of central nervous system conditions such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Professor Duffy’s work in UL will enhance creativity and artistic talent among medical students while broadening faculty knowledge in the area of humanities in medicine. A compulsory three week module has been introduced for third year medical students to develop their awareness of humanities and medicine by combining both the human nature and science elements of illnesses.
Professor Daniel Duffy explains the benefits of his course for medical students, “The aim of this humanities course is to improve medical students’ visual acumen through the introduction to fine arts concepts and structured observation exercises. A visual analysis of works of art and direct observation drawing workshops enhance inspection skills that apply to improved patient care. Students will gain a greater understanding of the people (humanities) side of medicine through art and they will be equipped to comprehend the emotional aspect of illnesses.”
Speaking about this inaugural appointment, Prof Paul Finucane, Foundation Head, Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick said, “Professor Duffy’s appointment to the faculty of medicine is vitally important to expand the skills of our emerging doctors and to encourage them to treat the person and not just the illness. We are pleased that Lundbeck have come on board to facilitate this appointment and we hope that UL will continue to lead the way in bridging the gap between medical science and the humanities.”
Eithne Boyan, Managing Director, Lundbeck Ireland said, “We are delighted to be supporting the first Fellow in the Humanities at UL. As a company, Lundbeck recognises that the treatment of any illness is a complex one and unique to each individual patient. We hope that this first placement of an artist-in-residence will help to enhance doctors care of patients as well as encourage them to consider the wider benefits to patients of holistic care.”
Professor Duffy is originally from New Jersey and his art has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, Farmleigh House, Dublin, Royal Hibernian Academy of Art, Dublin, The Naughton Gallery, Queens University, Belfast, Fota House, Fota Island, Cork and the Tramyard Gallery in Dublin. His work is held in a number of public and private collections in Ireland, the US and elsewhere.
Lundbeck’s commitment to supporting the arts spans a number of corporate social responsibility initiatives including their landmark programme, ‘Art Against Stigma’ which was established to showcase artistic expression among those using the mental health services throughout Ireland. This year over 450 people participated in Art Against Stigma exhibitions highlighting the therapeutic benefits gained from this form of activity including increased self-esteem and confidence. In addition, the Lundbeck National Art Award is offered to the art department attached to a mental health unit that provides the most suitable environment, materials and personnel for their patients/artists.
Further information about the Graduate Entry Medical School is available on www.ul.ie/medicalschool and Professor Daniel Duffy www.danielmarkduffy.com and Lundbeck, www.lundbeck.ie.