University of Minnesota Physician Practices Magic and Medicine in the Hospital

One University of Minnesota pediatric physician uses the similarities between magic and medicine to make his patients’ difficult times in the hospital a bit easier. Michael Pitt, MD, Associate Professor in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine, has been using magic tricks to help relax his patients and build rapport during examinations. Medicine, like magic, is a type of performance art that focuses on building relationships with patients and their families in daily interactions. Being able to apply those social skills that magicians use to interact with their audiences, such as picking a card from a deck, forces the participant to make choices and stay engaged while the trick is being performed. Dr. Pitt uses these techniques to distract his patients from the parts of their hospital stay that may make them anxious or nervous. For example, bringing a toy to the examinations can help his pediatric patients to focus on something other than the medicine, thereby easing their mood and making the overall experience more enjoyable. To read more about Dr. Pitt’s approach to combining magic and medicine, follow this link.