All the world's a stage: the use of theatrical performance in medical education
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2003
Volume 37, Issue 10, pages 922–927, October 2003
How to Cite
Shapiro, J. and Hunt, L. (2003), All the world's a stage: the use of theatrical performance in medical education. Medical Education, 37: 922–927. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2003.01634.x
- Issue published online: 16 SEP 2003
- Article first published online: 16 SEP 2003
- Received 13 November 2002; editorial comments to authors 6 February 2003; accepted for publication 7 April 2003
- medical education;
- medical humanities;
Purpose Student exposure to illness-related theatrical performances holds intriguing educational possibilities. This project explored uses of theatrical performance within the context of medical education.
Method Two 1-person shows, dramatically addressing AIDS and ovarian cancer, were presented to audiences totalling approximately 150 medical students, faculty, community doctors, staff and patients.
Results Evaluations for both performances indicated increased understanding of the illness experience and greater empathy for patients. They also showed that respondents obtained additional insights into patient care issues, and developed new ways of thinking about their situations.
Conclusions Presenting illness-related dramatic performances as an adjunct method of enhancing empathy and insight toward patients in a self-selected group of students, doctors, staff and patients was successful. Although this approach might not be effective with all learners, those who participated felt they gained important insights into the nature of the patient experience.