Art mu­seum visit just what the doc­tor or­dered

Edmonton Sun - - LIFE -

Mon­treal — doc­tors in Mon­treal will soon be writ­ing pre­scrip­tions that send pa­tients to the art gallery in­stead of the phar­macy un­der a part­ner­ship with the Mon­treal Mu­seum of Fine arts.

the pro­gram, de­scribed as a first in canada, will al­low mem­bers of a Mon­tre­al­based med­i­cal as­so­ci­a­tion rep­re­sent­ing fran­co­phone physi­cians to pre­scribe mu­seum vis­its.

“based on a global ap­proach to health, the mu­seum pre­scrip­tion pro­gram co­in­cides per­fectly with our com­mit­ment to rec­og­niz­ing the in­di­vid­u­al­ity and hu­man­ity of our pa­tients,” said diane Poirier, an in­ten­sive­care physi­cian who is pres­i­dent of Medecins fran­co­phones du canada.

“this is an in­no­va­tive pilot project that we hope will spread across the coun­try.”

be­gin­ning Nov. 1, as­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers will be able to is­sue up to 50 pre­scrip­tions grant­ing ad­mis­sion to the Mon­treal Mu­seum of Fine arts for a fam­ily of four.

“I am con­vinced that in the 21st cen­tury, cul­ture will be what phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity was for health in the 20th cen­tury,” Nathalie bondil, the mu­seum’s di­rec­tor gen­eral and chief cu­ra­tor, said.

“cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ences will ben­e­fit health and well­ness, just as en­gag­ing in sports con­trib­utes to fit­ness.”

the mu­seum is al­ready in­volved in 10 clin­i­cal tri­als as­sess­ing the im­pact of art on health. It is look­ing to help a broad range of pa­tients, in­clud­ing peo­ple with breast cancer, epilepsy, men­tal ill­ness and alzheimer’s dis­ease.

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