The Future of Education

Edition 8

Accepted Abstracts

How do theatrical interventions help a medical student in their pre-clinical years? – A qualitative study

Anitha Guru, Melaka Manipal Medical College (India)

Ciraj Am, Melaka Manipal Medical College (India)

Gayatri Prabhu, Melaka Manipal Medical College (India)

Muhammad Nizamudeen Mohammed Tajudeen, Melaka Manipal Medical College (India)

Sankirta Tero Nyana Somadam, Melaka Manipal Medical College (India)

Neeta Gayathri Ravichandran, Melaka Manipal Medical College (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

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