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Use of Forum Theater to improve the Clinical Learning Environment

Background: Reports of student mistreatment remain unacceptably high at Duke University School of Medicine. Addressing the learning environment with lectures, anonymous reporting and personal coaches has had little effect. The humanities have been used for building empathy in physicians. In interactive or Forum Theater, spectators have opportunities to express opinions and make decisions while the actors incorporate the suggestions as they re-play a scene over again. The technique of Forum Theater has been used for medical faculty development for improving handling of student multiculturalism with positive results.

Methods: After IRB approval, 2 Forum theater sessions were held as OB-Gyn Grand Rounds with scenes depicting interactive challenges.  The learning environment dean led discussion on the scenes before re-enactment with audience input. A brief survey was collected on the Playbill regarding demographics, mistreatment attitudes and opinions on Forum Theater. Replies between students and residents were compared with Fishers Exact analysis.

Results: 110 attendees participated in 2 Forum Theater sessions. 41 participants completed surveys-12 medical students, 17 residents, 4 fellows and 8 faculty. Students agreed with statements that medical student mistreatment is prevalent at the school and in the department significantly more often than the residents. (p<.05) There were no differences between responses on the learning environment in the clerkship. 83% of participants reported that Forum theater raised mistreatment awareness and could improve the learning environment.

Discussions: Forum Theater holds promise as a tool for addressing learning environment challenges.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2018, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Professionalism, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, GME, UME, General Ob-Gyn,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,
Professionalism,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,
Clinical Focus
General Ob-Gyn,

Author Information

Benjamin Harris, MD, Duke University Medical Center; Jade Arnold, BA; Nancy Knudsen, MD; and Lisa Muasher, MD

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