Doctors as Makers

Acad Med. 2017 Jan;92(1):40-44. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001312.


Traditional skills and expertise are not enough to prepare future physicians for the complexity, instability, and uncertainty of clinical practice. Responding and making meaning from ill-defined or unusual problems calls for, even demands, creativity. In this article, the author suggests expanding the traditional role of doctor as science-using, evidence-based practitioner to include that of doctor as a "maker" (creator) and artist. Such a reimagining requires a shift in how we view medical knowledge and patients' stories, as well as a new appreciation for "not-knowing" as a generative, creative space in medicine. Creative thinking deserves a central place in the training of doctors, driven by a reconceptualization of the traditional educational model to include medical disciplines, humanities scholars, artists, and designers.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Creativity
  • Humanities*
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Medicine
  • Physicians*