Fall 2017


A scholarship allows medical students to experience how medicine and art are inextricably intertwined

Life as a doctor today can be dominated by numbers: patients in, patients out, community measures, big data. Yet medicine remains both an art and a science.

Such is the belief of Robert O. Fisch, M.D., a retired University of Minnesota professor of pediatrics and Holocaust survivor, who 10 years ago created the Fisch Art of Medicine Student Awards with his wife, Karen Bachman. The purpose: allowing U medical students the means to pursue creative endeavors outside of the Medical School curriculum.

“Living is an art, and medicine is an art form to make life a little better and a little longer,” writes Fisch, an artist himself. “Art and medicine are two consequences of the same desire to sustain life.”

Since 2007, about 90 awardees have received more than $90,000 cumulatively. The awards have ranged from $250 to $2,500, and students have pursued 20 different art forms—including (from the most to least common) music, drawing and painting, dance, ceramics, sculpture, photography, documentary filmmaking, aerial arts, graphic design, bicycle-tire making, sewing, clowning, coding, cooking, hand balancing, textile design, magic, metalsmithing, woodworking, theater, writing, storytelling, and video game design.

To learn how you can support medical student scholarships at the University of Minnesota, contact Dan Brasch at 612-624-6453 or dbrasch@umn.edu.