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Artists Remaking Medicine: The practice of imagination and the power to create a better healthcare future

ISBN: 9798218141691
Binding: Hardcover
Author: Emily F. Peters & Collaborators
Pages: 232
Trim: 6 x 8.5 inches
Published: 10/15/2023

In this powerful anthology on the intersection of art and medicine, acclaimed author Emily F. Peters teams with 25 artist changemakers to explore the history, practice, and future of radical creativity in healthcare.

Curious, colorful, and optimistic: Artists Remaking Medicine is a bold chronicle of medical humanities in action that inspires new thinking about what is possible when we embrace the paradox of both loving medicine and challenging its most toxic structures.

Follow the story of Yoko and Avery Sen, who turn a traumatic hospitalization into a project improving the sound of bedside alarms for millions of clinicians and patients around the world. Meet the architects of MASS Design Group, who build dignity into hospitals. Hear from bestselling physician writer Sandeep Jauhar on medicine's long memory, a former ICU nurse using medical ephemera in fine art, and a puppeteer reconnecting medical students to the body. Consider the history and future of color in clinical spaces and learn from artists working in the fields of Indigenous health and space medicine.

At a time when healthcare feels sanitized, demoralized, and plagued with burnout and inequity, artists teach us to hope and to practice a more vivid moral imagination. Through dynamic conversations, this book is an illuminating journey through the intertwined history of art and medicine dating back to the Stone Age and how we can create a more abundant and human healthcare future today.

Artists Remaking Medicine includes stories, collaborations, and commissioned art exploring the topics of healthcare's intersection with:

  • Time through the history of medicine, the evolution of religious hospitals, and cultural memory.
  • The body with an artist applying nursing assessment to his work and a project of building embodied care through movement.
  • Sight in the dual perspectives of two photographers, one a transplant patient and the other a surgical pathologist.
  • Space looking at the work of Superstudio, architectural collage, and contemporary hospital design.
  • Sound in exploration of music as medicine and musicians working to improve the soundscapes of care.
  • Color through a blueprint for designing ever-changing healthcare spaces and a study of hues defining modern medicine.
  • Dreams with the movements of Indigenous futurism in medicine and protest art.
  • Action for the future via space medicine, tackling financial toxicity, and techniques for practicing imagination.


Emily F. Peters is the founder and CEO of the brand strategy studio Uncommon Bold and author of Women Remaking Medicine and Artists Remaking Medicine. In 2016, she survived a near-fatal amniotic fluid embolism in childbirth and became an advocate for blood donation. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughter, and pink poodle, Benny.


“In this splendid labor of care, Peters and her collaborators prove this: To radically turn healthcare towards careful and kind care for all, we need to ask, uncover, unleash, make, invite, reveal, conspire, act. We need art.”  — Victor M. Montori, MD, Rewoldt Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, author of Why We Revolt: A Patient Revolution for Careful and Kind Care, and care activist with The Patient Revolution

“In this gorgeous book, Artists Remaking Medicine, Emily Peters and her team have given us all a gift: a guidebook for building a more humane health care system. Both artists and clinicians use the word ‘practice’ to describe how they pursue their work. This book invites us to join in the work — and the fun — of practicing new ways of thinking.”
— Susannah Fox, health and technology strategist, former CTO of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and author of Rebel Health

“This utterly original panorama of a book argues that medicine is not — and never has been — separate from the human experience, in all its messy beauty. Peters shows how the myth of the ‘objective’ clinical gaze has left our health care systems impoverished of beauty and connection — and how bringing art of all kinds into health care spaces has the potential to transform how we care for one another. This gorgeous book is a necessary act of reimagination, meeting the urgency of the moment.”  — Sarah DiGregorio, journalist and critically acclaimed author of Early: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What it Teaches Us About Being Human and Taking Care: The Story of Nursing and Its Power to Change Our World

“Art and medicine have been intertwined since the beginning of time. The sooner we understand this, the sooner we can change things for the better. Emily and her collaborators take us on an inspiring journey that anyone hoping to make healthcare more human centered should take.”  — Rob Pugliese, Director of Innovation Design and Co-Director of the Health Design Lab, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health

“Artists Remaking Medicine is a gorgeous reminder of the healing potential of creativity, embodiment, and sense-making, and a vivid and timely call to action for all of us to connect more deeply with what’s possible. This book is a must-read for anyone needing a refresh on all that is creative and generative in medicine.”  — Rana Awdish, MD, FCCP, Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician and bestselling author of In Shock: My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope

“We mistakenly often think of medicine as being a STEM subject that uses just one side of the brain. But in fact, many doctors are also gifted artists and have a background in humanities. So much of this discipline is more than a science, it’s an art form. Emily Peters has shown that when we engage both sides of the brain, the results are truly extraordinary.” — Christina Farr, Health-tech principal investor, OMERS Ventures, and author of Second Opinion.

"This book took my literal breath away. As someone who lost their father to cancer at a young age, reading the stories from the subjects in the book, took me back to when doctors initially dismissed his symptoms and later, when there was nothing more to do, the transition to end of life care. My lived experience has changed the way I look at healthcare and is why I have spent my professional career working to improve the lives of so many people impacted by chronic disease. At the end of every day, patients are human beings and Artists Remaking Medicine reminds us of that through the stories so beautifully told in this book. If we want to figure out how to reimagine healthcare, we must have a patient-first view. Thank you Emily and team for reminding us of what is truly important and the opportunity to remake medicine." — Jenny Bogard, Executive Director of the National Hypertension Control Roundtable

“Sometimes inspiration arrives when you least expect it but need it most. From the poignant stories to the whimsical illustrations, Artists Remaking Medicine is a thing of beauty.”  — John Fox, anthropologist, writer, filmmaker and co-founder and principal, 

“Can artists and artful thinkers help remake medicine and healthcare? A new book asks and answers the question; spoiler alert, it's an empathic, evidence-based ‘yes.’ Artists Remaking Medicine is an empathic, story-rich collaboration with two dozen artists and artfully-thinking folks involved in the health care ecosystem — physicians, technologists, innovators, nurses, patients, architects, designers, musicians. I highly recommend you add this book to your library shelf on health care transformation.”  - Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, author of HealthConsuming: From Health Consumer to Health Citizen and the award-winning Health Populi blog

“Artists Remaking Medicine is so good and such a fabulous reminder that transformative change takes a village.” (source)   — Alexandra Connor, Head of Brand and Marketing, Walgreens Health

“Artists Remaking Medicine is a beautiful work of hope for a system that seems beyond hope for many. Health care transformers everywhere should take note and find solace in the seemingly small ideas that could have outsized impacts on the lives of doctors, nurses, and the people they treat.” (source)   — Jane Metcalfe, founder and CEO of, co-founder and former president of Wired Magazine, and the former president and owner of TCHO Chocolate  

“A captivating look at the crossroads of art and medicine and its transformative potential.”  — Joy Rios, founder, CEO, and host of Hit Like a Girl Podcast and community