06 - 08 Sep 2018

The Art of Observation - Visual Literacy for Dermatologist

Visual literacy (VL) is the ability to understand, interpret and evaluate visual messages; by looking in detail at artworks, this skill can be successfully developed for clinical practice. Applicability of VL to medicine was pioneered by Harvard Medical School, where a programme in VL is a standard part of the medical school programme. Subsequently successful pilot VL training for dermatology trainees in the UK and dermatology residents in the US provided further evidence for the utility of VL training in dermatology. Inspired by our experience in the UK, a number of highly successful VL training courses were run for dermatologists (both trainees and consultants) in Manchester and London, UK between 2015 and 2017.

The evaluation of the courses run by Professor Chris Griffiths and Dr Helen Young in Manchester and Dr Sarah Walsh in London demonstrate a number of benefits. These include: improved clinical observational and analytical skills; qualitative improvements in communication; reflection; respect for colleagues and listening skills. 

The course will be run by two experienced arts educators, led by Helena Tomlin, with input from dermatologists who have led in the previous programmes in Manchester and London.

The training programme for European Consultant Dermatologists will build upon the unique but vital contribution of VL to dermatology training, and share best practice across Europe. We have found, through our past programmes, that consultant dermatologists need to engage with the concept of VL themselves before they can develop work in art galleries with their trainees. The emphasis of the training programme will be on collaboration and sharing, with each workshop designed to promote discussion and critical debate; specifically:


  • gain knowledge of the key concepts of VL.
  • enable participants to use different thematic approaches in the development of their own observational skills and personal reflection.
  • provide participants with an understanding of the range of educational opportunities for dermatology that are available in art galleries, and how to use these in conjunction with dermatology resources available in clinical practice (such as slides/photographs/texts).



London, United Kingdom



General Information Specialists:

EADV Specialist courses are for dermatology and venereology specialists (both EADV members and non EADV members).

Participants will receive the educational material which was presented during the course, catering and a social event during the course.

Registration Fee (EADV Members): 400€
Registration Fee (Non EADV Members): 650€


The registration deadline will close at 23h59 (GMT+1) the day before the registration deadline (ex: registration deadline 31 January 2000 – the registrations will close on 30 January 2000 at 23h59).

Should you be registering on behalf of the person who will be attending the course, please ensure you use their personal log in and contact details when filling out the registration form.


Thursday 6 September 2018

  • 13:00 / 13:30 Registration with coffee/tea and light refreshments
  • 13:30 / 14:15 Introduction Programme Overview
  • 14:15 / 15:00 Director’s welcome to Wallace Collection   -   Dr Xavier Bray
  • 15:00 / 16:30 Practical Activity In Depth: Composition Balanced or Imbalanced? A team activity in the galleries to explore the way we read paintings and focuses on ‘double checking and ambiguity’.
  • 16:30 / 17:00 Group discussion and preparation for next day

Friday 7 September 2018

  • 09:30 / 10:00 ‘Skin and paint’ tbc. Special tour in galleries   -   Dr Xavier Bray
  • 10:00 / 11:30 Practical Activity In Depth: Colour Pink, purple or dark red? Development on colour description, working in situ in galleries
  • 11:30 / 12:00 Break
  • 12:00 / 13:00 Practical Activity In Depth: Shape Is that shape annular? Focusing on one painting again an opportunity to use a dermatology glossary as a tool for describing the shapes in a particular work.
  • 13:00 / 15:00 Lunch at Wallace Restaurant then Travel Tate Britain
  • 15:00 / 16:30 Practical Activity In Depth: Texture What does the surface suggest? Using mobile phones as a tool for exploring the surface the activity will focus on texture and the sensations this creates in the viewer
  • 16:30 / 18:00 Free time for visiting Tate collection
  • 17:00 / 17:45 Optional extra session HT A personal view of Turner
  • 18:00 / 22:00 Course Dinner in Whistler Restaurant with Guest Speaker

Saturday 8 September 2018

  • 10:00 / 12:00 Presentations by Participants - working in situ in galleries
  • 12:00 / 13:00 Tea and coffee and final round up in Meeting Room discussions/networking
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