How do theatrical interventions help a medical student in their pre-clinical years? – A qualitative study
Anitha Guru, Senior Grade Lecturer Department of Anatomy Melaka Manipal Medical College Manipal University, Manipal 576104 Karnataka (India)
Ciraj Am, Professor of Microbiology, Deputy Director- Medical Education Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Campus) Manipal University Manipal-576104 India (India)
Gayatri Prabhu, Assistant Professor Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities Manipal University, Manipal 576104 Karnataka (India)
Muhammad Nizamudeen Mohammed Tajudeen, 2nd year MBBS Student Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Campus) Manipal University, Manipal 576104 Karnataka (India)
Sankirta Tero Nyana Somadam, 2nd year MBBS Student Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Campus) Manipal University, Manipal 576104 Karnataka (India)
Neeta Gayathri Ravichandran, 2nd year MBBS Student Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Campus) Manipal University, Manipal 576104 Karnataka (India)
Objectives:This study was designed to investigate the effect of a theatrical intervention in the routine of a medical undergraduate. The interventions planned addressed areas of effective communication with peers, non-verbal communication skills, team building and enhancement of creativity and critical thinking
Methodology: Permission to conduct the study was obtained from the Institutional Ethics Committee. Three half day sessions were conducted in Melaka Manipal Medical College, Manipal Campus. Participation was kept voluntary and informed consent was obtained. In each session, a series of Theatre of the Oppressed activities were conducted. The activities used were: cover the space, glass cobra, Columbian hypnosis, carnival in Rio and image theatre. Activities were matched with the areas addressed.
At the end of each session, participants were provided a validated questionnaire and were also asked to write a reflective summary. Qualitative analysis of reflective summaries was done. Codes were generated and were categorized into themes.
Result: 47 participants attended the session. All participants appreciated the half day sessions for its content and mode of delivery. 87% of participants opined that the activities allowed them to explore their creative side. 68% participants conveyed that the intervention helped them overcome stress and offered a good break from their mundane routine. 87% of the participants mentioned that they wished to attend more such sessions.
Teamwork, leadership experience, gesture for communication, bonding amongst the participants, respect for others, open-mindedness, divergent thinking and creativity emerged as themes in this study.
Conclusion: The theatrical intervention has proved to be successful in providing a break in the routine of a medical student. Besides alleviating the stress, the intervention has provided avenues to generate creative ideas and divergent thinking while honing non-verbal communication skills, leadership experience and teamwork.
Keywords: Theatre, Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) games, creativity, non-verbal communication, break in routine