The Role of “Improv” in Health Professional Learning: A Scoping Review

Lead Author: Dr. L. Gao
Submitted by: Michael Maury, UC-San Diego 

In this research article the authors sought “to synthesize evidence on learning outcomes and curricular design elements of improvizational theater training in health professions education.” They conducted a literature search using the keywords of “improv” and “improvisational theatre” starting in January of 2016 which originally identified 95 abstracts. As it is noted in the article, “51 met criteria for abstract review. Of these, 23 publications were excluded for interventions not involving health professional learners, 15 did not employ improv techniques (no unscripted, unplanned component), and 6 did not include some measure or description of a learning outcome. As a result, a total of seven articles were selected for inclusion in our analysis.” While there is still much data to be gathered on the positive outcome of improv as an applied art, we are beginning to see the importance of this art craft within medical education.

Read the full article in Medical Teacher here.

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