|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 262-264
Theater in medical education: Strengthening the component of clinical training of medical students
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2
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 Submission||06-Jun-2022|
|Date of Decision||13-Jun-2022|
|Date of Acceptance||17-Jun-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||17-Oct-2022|
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
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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 5];20:262-4. Available from: https://www.cmijournal.org/text.asp?2022/20/4/262/358651
| Introduction|| |
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. 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., 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.,
| Theater and Medical Education|| |
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 in practice for quite some time in different medical institutions spread across the world.,,,,,,,,,,, Theater is extremely useful to help medical students to understand various life-threatening scenarios and settings that require medical humanities incorporation. 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.,
| Merits of Theater|| |
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., Further, the integration of lectures with theatrical performance not only becomes an attractive tool but even strengthens the process of knowledge acquisition. Theater plays a crucial role in the development of core competencies (viz., interpersonal and communication skills and professionalism).
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. 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.
| Theater and Empathy|| |
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. 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. 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.,,
| Theater and Emergency rooms|| |
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. The training of medical students in theater techniques has emerged as an effective option to ensure interactive teaching. 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., 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. 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.
| Playback Theater|| |
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. The participants observe these and interpret the interactions externally, which plays a defining role in improvising interpersonal skills and communication abilities. These kinds of playback theater strengthen the doctor–patient relationship, by actively inculcating the qualities of self-awareness, flexibility, and empathy. 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.,
| Conclusion|| |
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
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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