I had a medical appointment today-nothing crazy- just an ECG to investigate the hole in my heart still lingering from my childhood. I walked from a nearby plaza to the medical building, as to avoid paid-parking, thus, entering through a different door than usual. It was out front of this door that I saw a sign that shot a jolt of discomfort through my viens and into my murmur-ridden heart. "Credit Valley Medical Arts" it read. I had never before seen the words Medical and Arts used together so proudly and everything about it seemed wrong.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
A Writer Under The Influence
Art, I thought, was something that had no set rules, only guidelines and standards set by those who practiced it in the past. Art, I thought, was something that one could never perfect and always possessed that existential and creative progression. Art, I thought, was something that one could enjoy if they wanted and ignore just the same. Art, I thought, had varying degrees of quality and experience but could never be 'wrong'. It was this set of personal definitions that furnished such discomfort. Medicine should have a very defined set of rules that are clear to all who work within it. Medicine should have a finite point where one is educated enough to practice it. Medicine should be something that can't be ignored and all who need it receive the same care. Medicine should have a large straight in between the banks of right and wrong.
Obviously this got me thinking deeply about 'Art' as I filled out the necessary information on the chipped clipboard in the waiting room (which, by the way, failed to reassure me in my state of concern). In art, to require perfection is to invite paralysis, and, in medicine, to require perfection is par for the course. In art, vision races far ahead of execution and the works we have yet to create almost always seem more real that the works that we have already produced. Whereas in medicine, vision and execution should always be, one would think, in league and sync. And in art, expression and self are such vital and valuable contributors to the work - it is, ultimately about the artist. Medicine is about care and precision and should always be about the patient, not the practician.
So what exactly do they mean by 'Medical Arts'? Perhaps I don't want to know. I have always thought one's 'craft' is the visible edge of one's 'art' and makes it an actual tangible experience.
So maybe this sign would have bared a slightly less worrying message if it read "Credit Valley Medical Craft". At the end of the day, art that deals with ideas is much more interesting than art that deals with technique - a statement where to replace art with medicine would manufacture panic in all those that pass through the hospital's revolving doors.