There is always some new way professionals try to incorporate comedy into their work. WIT has a corporate program just for that reason, plus if you have ever been in an office where they have a "team building" session you have realized that some exercises are just glorified "Zip Zap Zop" and don't teach you shit about working better with your colleagues.
Today I found an interesting article from KVOA News 4 where a pharmacist at Arizona University is using improv techniques to help better communication between health care professionals and their patients.
"In this skit, Boesen is a pharmacist and he's talking to a hospital patient. But mostly he and other members of his health care team are busy talking about their kids' sports lives......As a result, the patient gets the wrong medicine."
First of all, that sounds like a really fun improv scene to me. And if Boesen was really listening to what was happening in the scene and intentionally ignoring what the patient was saying, then the act of given the patient the wrong prescription was correct as it heightened the "distracted doctors" game. Right?
But, that is not what the purpose of the "skit" was. Nor does it sound like it was actually improvised. The purpose I assume, was to help doctors learn techniques on listening. I think improv can definitely help people do that. But, this article makes it seem like they are just acting out stupid comedy "skits" that very bluntly hammer across what the problems are. Not what the solution might be.
Also, for anyone who has tried to learn improv you realize that even the typical 8 week course isn't nearly enough to teach you all the nuances of improv. So, these doctors who have spent, i dunno 5 years in med school and have been trained a certain way of thinking are not going to quickly reverse that in a week long silly "pass emotion around a circle" improv workshop.
I definitely applaude people trying different tactics and improv definitely teaches people to get out of their heads and listen, but this doesn't sound like a viable option to me in this case. Doctors aren't taught to "think on their feet". They are trained to look at research, calculate risks and decide what the best option is for their patients. The problem is obviously the overall attitude of health care in this country, where medicine is pushed on patients, but I am not smart enough to argue that point.
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