Alex Reed, PsyD, MPH, Winslow Gerrish, PhD, Valerie Ross, MFT
To be successful as a student, resident, staff member, or faculty member in a dynamic medical setting, such as medical school or a residency program, requires excellent communication skills and quick “on your feet” thinking. However, these skill sets vary widely and can be very hard to target with traditional teaching techniques. Poor communication can lead to unintended consequences ranging from issues in patient care to low morale and even turnover or professionalism and ethical complaints. Improvisation theater and it’s principles of equality, collaboration, flexibility, responsiveness and accepting multiple perspectives offers a unique and dynamic opportunity to enhance communication for all trainees, staff and faculty. Medical improv and its exercises are not role play, but an adjunct to existing methods of training that can fulfill a curricular and professionalism gap for trainees, staff and faculty.