In the Loop
General News : Feb 14, 2017

Center for Arts in Medicine hosts roundtable of educators to compose white paper

By Marie Callahan

Last October, the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine hosted a roundtable of international educators who collaborated to write, “Talking about Arts in Health: a white paper addressing the language used to describe the discipline from a higher education perspective.”

“We organized the roundtable because one of the biggest barriers to growth in the field of arts in health currently is a lack of consistency in language used to describe the discipline and the field,” said Jill Sonke, director of UF’s Center for Arts in Medicine.

Educators from the United States and the United Kingdom who participated in the roundtable brought an array of perspectives and were eager to gather to thoroughly investigate the issue.

With the support of the Pabst Charitable Foundation for the Arts, the white paper was written specifically for educators in arts in health. For five days, the educators reviewed grammar, syntax, scope of practices and literature from the field. They also reviewed a field survey on language use and preferences and engaged in dialogue. Through this extensive research, they were able to gather useful information and propose a common set of terminologies for the discipline.

The term “arts in health” was identified as the term that, for educational purposes, best describes the discipline. The sub-disciplines of “arts in healthcare” and “arts in community health” were also identified to reference the distinct subdomains of practice in healthcare and community settings, respectively.

“We all realized that it wasn’t a process of finding our favorite language,” Sonke said, “but rather a process of finding the best language for the moment.” 

Sonke hopes that the white paper will stimulate dialogue worldwide that will to lead to greater clarity, and therefore greater opportunity for growth, in the field.

To view the full white paper, please click here.

To view the language survey results, please click here.