Inside Rodin’s Hands: Teaching Surgery Through Art and Anatomy

Venue: Stanford Cantor Arts Center, First Floor Auditorium 

Host: Recombinations — Stanford's university-wide seminar series at the intersection of medicine, humanities and the arts.

Dr. James Chang, Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Stanford’s School of Medicine, has long been fascinated by Rodin’s sculptures. When he was an undergraduate student at Stanford, he frequently visited the Rodin Sculpture Garden. Now internationally renowned as a hand reconstruction surgeon, Chang has returned to Rodin for inspiration as he focuses on Rodin’s depiction of hands. Chang noticed that many of the hands evince specific medical conditions, such as Dupuytrens syndrome and Apert syndrome. This groundbreaking, multi-disciplinary exhibition is the result of Chang’s efforts to incorporate these sculptures into his hand surgery educational program. He has developed new technologies that enable students to hone their skills by visualizing virtual anatomy to plan surgery for these conditions. Inside Rodin’s Hands features innovative cutting-edge technologies for studying the hand’s internal structures, and in an important glance backward, a brief survey of detailed depictions of the hand in historical anatomical texts from the 16th–18th centuries.