Brightly-colored artwork by patients adorns the partitions of the waiting room at a small community healthcare facility in New York City, the results of a project by two younger doctors on a mission to humanize drugs.’
The two, who met in medical school, felt the decor of the ready room at the Charles B. Rangel Community Health Center in Harlem didn’t reflect the identities and experiences of the sufferers it serves, who’re mainly low-earnings African-American and Hispanic families dependent on Medicaid for healthcare costs.
They settled on a simple plan to rework the room. Over several weeks, they offered 50 young sufferers in the waiting room, ages 5 to 21, with artwork supplies and invited them to write or draw in response to the prompt thought – “How do you see yourself?”
Writing in the journal Pediatrics, Sinha, and Dr. Natalie Diacovo, both now residents in pediatrics training programs, say the experiment started as a “narrative medicine” program for a task during medical school at Columbia.
Sinha and Diacovo stated sufferers became engrossed in the exercise and co-operated, sometimes returning after their appointment to finish their artwork.
Children younger than five volunteered themselves as “assistants,” collecting crayons and selecting colors for the older sufferers.
One physician at the health facility observed a shift in sufferers’ behavior after they took part in the program, along with an increased willingness to open up during the visit, the authors added.
The project’s impact was not limited to sufferers. Discover described the heartening messages and artwork sufferers made to express gratitude for the employees at Rangel.