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Response to Kamath et al 'A syncretic approach can yield dividends'

By P Macneill, K Scott, J River, P Dwyer, C Hooker, L Nash and K Ivory


PPWe welcome the response from Kamath et al. and their insight into the issues and culture within medicine in India, and their thoughts about how to address these issues. We also agree that a drama-based approach is not sufficient on its own to deal with entrenched power issues which affect students adversely. As we have indicated, we believe “a multipronged approach is needed to generate systemic change.” These authors similarly advocate that student mistreatment be dealt with “in a comprehensive manner” including a ‘grievance redressal system’ and other measures to withhold accreditation where there are issues of abuse of power. Nevertheless, we note that Kamath et al. have responded positively to our approach—as a part of that mix—and it would be of great interest to see whether drama-based workshops could support medical students developing embodied acting skills in their institution and whether they may have similar transformative effects. We’d like to refer the authors to an excellent Medical Humanities paper we referenced that outlined drama-based activities in medical education in India: Gupta S, Singh S. Confluence: understanding medical humanities through street theatre. Medical Humanities. 2011;37(2):127-128. Despite the above article, the authors note that medical education in India has not embraced the medical humanities. We would draw a distinction within the medical humanities between activities which are primarily studious (reading literature, studying medical history) and workshops that are based on participative and embodied activity. Our experience has indicated the effectiveness of drama-based workshops in addressing both the cognitive and emotive aspects of harmful practices and we believe that it is the embodied nature of acting skills workshops that is transformative

Topics: medical education, drama-based approach, medical student skills, participative and embodied activities, harm, power issues, acting skills workshops
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Year: 2017
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Sydney eScholarship

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