Chris Haymaker, PhD
Patient centered, empathic communication improves the quality of health care and can improve both patient and provider satisfaction. As such, medical educators often emphasize these skills throughout training. Best practices for teaching these skills often include role play of patient encounters. Over the past decade, some professionals have begun to implement lessons from improvisational theatre to teach key aspects of patient centered communication and to build the empathy of medical professionals. Medical improv activities have many of the same advantages as role play, including the opportunity to rehearse important communication skills and get feedback in real time. These activities also create unique conditions including lowering the stakes of the interaction, isolation of specific skills, and utilization of humor to build episodic and procedural memory. This session will use experiential learning to teach participants how to implement improvisational games to teach communication micro skills commonly emphasized for physicians in training.