From Musician to Physician: Why Medical Schools Are Recruiting for Musical Ability

August 8, 2018

As an undergraduate, Doug Angel studied music performance at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s School of Music. He majored in piano. Today, though, you’re more likely to find the 35-year-old in an operating theatre, not a conventional one. His instruments are not keyboards, but the tools are ones he uses for reconstructive surgeries of the head and neck.

Most of his patients have cancer and require tumors to be removed. The manual dexterity he developed playing piano is the most obvious skill he brought to his surgical practice. Angel says medical instructors should be more than just teachers. They should be coaches. That is how one improves, both in medicine and in music.

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