How the Manifestations of Medical Diagnoses Have Shaped the Art World

A Talk by Dr. Megan McGill, M.D., Ph.D.


Disease changes lives…and art.

For centuries, art and music have reflected not only contemporary cultural and political themes but also the lives of the artists themselves.  For example, medical diagnoses have shaped the way artists perceive and interact with the world, and are expressed in their art.  This talk explores how a pituitary tumor, REM sleep disturbances, prosopagnosia and syphilis have ultimately had profound impacts on art and music, while explaining the science behind these diagnoses along the way.

Megan is joining McKinsey and Company this year as a consultant and was previously a Radiology resident at New York University Langone Medical Center.  She graduated magna cum laude from University of Pennsylvania with a BA in neuroscience, chemistry and music.  She received her MD from New York University School of Medicine with Alpha Omega Alpha honors and a PhD in MR Physics / Neuroimaging, studying brain networks – and their disruptions – in people with Epilepsy.  Megan also completed a year of her medical training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  Prior to turning to a life of medicine and science, Megan spent much of her life studying piano.  Megan lives in New York City with her magical creature of a son, Jasper.

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