Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
MEDICAL EDUCATION
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 262-264

Theater in medical education: Strengthening the component of clinical training of medical students


1 Deputy Director – Academics, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission06-Jun-2022
Date of Decision13-Jun-2022
Date of Acceptance17-Jun-2022
Date of Web Publication17-Oct-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cmi.cmi_67_22

Rights and Permissions
  Abstract 


The knowledge and skills expected of medical graduates upon completion of their undergraduate training are extremely vast and dynamic. Medicine has to be acknowledged as a combination of science and art, with science appealing to the scientific minds, while art encourages creativity and curiosity. The use of theater in medical education is not new by any means and has been extremely useful to help medical students to understand various life-threatening scenarios and settings that require medical humanities incorporation. To conclude, considering the complexities involved in the clinical training of a medical graduate student, it is our responsibility to adopt innovative teaching-learning methods. The use of theater in medical education delivery has been associated with developing many attributes of the hidden curriculum, including empathy, self-awareness, professionalism, and communication skills. The need of the hour is to acknowledge the potential of theater and integrate it with the existing curriculum to optimize the training of medical students.

Keywords: Communication skills, empathy, medical education, theater


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Theater in medical education: Strengthening the component of clinical training of medical students. Curr Med Issues 2022;20:262-4

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Theater in medical education: Strengthening the component of clinical training of medical students. Curr Med Issues [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 1];20:262-4. Available from: https://www.cmijournal.org/text.asp?2022/20/4/262/358651




  Introduction Top


The knowledge and skills expected of medical graduates upon completion of their undergraduate training are extremely vast and dynamic. In fact, considering the multiple domains in which a student should be competent and the complexities involved in patient care, it becomes quite difficult from the teachers' perspective to train them using conventional methods.[1] It will not be wrong to state that traditional lecture methods not only fall short in meeting the needs of students with different learning styles, but are also not a suitable option to encourage critical thinking, clinical reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.[1],[2] More often than not, these lectures fail to relate the gained knowledge with clinical practice, and thus students are not able to establish the clinical relevance. This calls for the need to adopt innovative teaching-learning methods to ensure better clinical teaching and improve doctor–patient interactions.[1],[2]


  Theater and Medical Education Top


Medicine has to be acknowledged as a combination of science and art, with science appealing to the scientific minds, while art encourages creativity and curiosity.[2] The use of theater in medical education is not new by any means and has been in practice for quite some time in different medical institutions spread across the world.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12] Theater is extremely useful to help medical students to understand various life-threatening scenarios and settings that require medical humanities incorporation.[3] Moreover, the art component in theater can replicate the real-life experience, boost imagination, and even simulates complexities involved in medical illness. Further, the incorporation of humor and emotions plays a significant part in understanding the patient's scenario and thus amplifies memory.[2],[3]


  Merits of Theater Top


The incorporation of theater in the delivery of medical education has been linked with a wide range of benefits. As students are assigned different roles while playing their part in the theater, there is active learning due to the direct engagement of students. Moreover, the learning process is also facilitated through peer interactions, the feedback given to the students, and their reflection by them on the entire role play.[3],[4] Further, the integration of lectures with theatrical performance not only becomes an attractive tool but even strengthens the process of knowledge acquisition.[5] Theater plays a crucial role in the development of core competencies (viz., interpersonal and communication skills and professionalism).[6]

Theater has been identified as an educational tool that can facilitate history taking and improve communication skills. In fact, the theater has been employed in a medical school in Istanbul, as a curricular reform to train 3rd-year medical students about a headache.[5] The evaluation of the curriculum revealed that students found this method as very effective and entertaining when compared with traditional methods. In addition, 9 out of 10 students concurred that owing to their performance in the theater, it was relatively simple for them to understand the given topic, and the learning was joyful and interesting.[5]


  Theater and Empathy Top


Considering that empathy plays a defining role in the making of a successful medical practitioner, nevertheless, it is a fact that the empathy component has not been addressed dressed in the current curriculum.[7] Based on the interaction with talented actors (which simulate the roles of doctors or patients), the trainee students perceive the importance of empathy and accordingly compose verbal and nonverbal responses that are customized to individual persons.[8] The involvement in theater played an important role in enhancing empathy among medical students depending on the emotional status of patients. In fact, the students who have participated in theaters or role plays tend to have a better understanding of the social concerns, improved listening abilities, warm behavior, reassurance, friendly approach, and honesty toward the entire doctor–patient interactions.[1],[7],[8]


  Theater and Emergency rooms Top


Under all circumstances, the emergency room is the ideal setting for training medical students in clinical emergencies, but considering that these are the settings of life and death, not every student can be given training or teaching in these rooms.[9] The training of medical students in theater techniques has emerged as an effective option to ensure interactive teaching.[10] This training becomes crucial to empower students about the intricacies of the doctor–patient relationships, deal with emotional situations better, and better engagement with students.[9],[10] In a study done in a Medical University in Greece, it was found that students found the inclusion of a theatrical approach for the management of emergency cases quite entertaining.[11] Further, students also reported that such an approach played a significant role in enhancing their competence level to diagnose medical emergencies, and the common mistakes done by them during the process of diagnosis and management of patients in emergency ward settings.[11]


  Playback Theater Top


Playback theater is a kind of interaction, wherein the involved members narrate their experiences, which are then demonstrated using a series of vignettes in a visual manner by the actors.[12] The participants observe these and interpret the interactions externally, which plays a defining role in improvising interpersonal skills and communication abilities.[12] These kinds of playback theater strengthen the doctor–patient relationship, by actively inculcating the qualities of self-awareness, flexibility, and empathy.[13] Playback theater has been found to be immensely useful in training medical students about the management of chronic illnesses (in terms of prevention and treatment) and breaking the bad news to the patients or their family members.[12],[13]


  Conclusion Top


Considering the complexities involved in the clinical training of a medical graduate student, it is our responsibility to adopt innovative teaching-learning methods. The use of theater in medical education delivery has been associated with developing many attributes of the hidden curriculum, including empathy, self-awareness, professionalism, and communication skills. The need of the hour is to acknowledge the potential of theater and integrate it with the existing curriculum to optimize the training of medical students.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Kohn M. Performing medicine: The role of theatre in medical education. Med Humanit 2011;37:3-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Sanko JS, Shekhter I, Kyle RR Jr., Di Benedetto S, Birnbach DJ. Establishing a convention for acting in healthcare simulation: Merging art and science. Simul Healthc 2013;8:215-20.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Skye EP, Wagenschutz H, Steiger JA, Kumagai AK. Use of interactive theater and role play to develop medical students' skills in breaking bad news. J Cancer Educ 2014;29:704-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Hart JA, Chilcote DR. “Won't you be my patient?”: Preparing theater students as standardized patients. J Nurs Educ 2016;55:168-71.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Unalan PC, Uzuner A, Cifçili S, Akman M, Hancioğlu S, Thulesius HO. Using theatre in education in a traditional lecture oriented medical curriculum. BMC Med Educ 2009;9:73.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Salam T, Collins M, Baker AM. All the world's a stage: Integrating theater and medicine for interprofessional team building in physician and nurse residency programs. Ochsner J 2012;12:359-62.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Dow AW, Leong D, Anderson A, Wenzel RP, VCU Theater-Medicine Team. Using theater to teach clinical empathy: A pilot study. J Gen Intern Med 2007;22:1114-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Eisenberg A, Rosenthal S, Schlussel YR. Medicine as a performing art: What we can learn about empathic communication from theater arts. Acad Med 2015;90:272-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Keskinis C, Bafitis V, Karailidou P, Pagonidou C, Pantelidis P, Rampotas A, et al. The use of theatre in medical education in the emergency cases school: An appealing and widely accessible way of learning. Perspect Med Educ 2017;6:199-204.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Heitz C, Eyck RT, Smith M, Fitch M. Simulation in medical student education: Survey of clerkship directors in emergency medicine. West J Emerg Med 2011;12:455-60.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Koufopoulos G, Georgakarakos E, Keskinis C, Stathopoulos M, Bafitis V, Tripsianis G. Theatrical performance in medical education: A fast-track differential approach of emergency cases. Hippokratia 2020;24:127-32.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Piccoli G, Rossetti M, Dell'Olio R, Perrotta L, Mezza E, Burdese M, et al. Play-back theatre, theatre laboratory, and role-playing: New tools in investigating the patient-physician relationship in the context of continuing medical education courses. Transplant Proc 2005;37:2007-8.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Salas R, Steele K, Lin A, Loe C, Gauna L, Jafar-Nejad P. Playback Theatre as a tool to enhance communication in medical education. Med Educ Online 2013;18:22622.  Back to cited text no. 13
    




 

Top
 
 
  Search
 
Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Theater and Medi...
Merits of Theater
Theater and Empathy
Theater and Emer...
Playback Theater
Conclusion
References

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed242    
    Printed12    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded29    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


[TAG2]
[TAG3]
[TAG4]