We know that working in silos prevents patients from receiving the most optimal care from healthcare teams. We all bring different expertise and experience to the table and it can be challenging for leaders, even collaborative ones to make sure that all voices are heard. Time limitations, more urgent priorities, poor communication skills, and toxic cultures contribute to barriers that are superimposed on top of the diversity that interdisciplinary professionals teams represent. Optimizing communication and interpersonal skills can build relationships so that we can break down silos and truly offer more value to patients. Sometimes this is really hard to do in the midst of constant pressures and changes that are the norm in healthcare.Medical Improv for undergrad healthcare students of all disciplines! Click To Tweet
So why not prevent them from forming in the first place?
What I am proposing is an undergraduate course for all students pursuing careers in any healthcare profession in ‘Medical Improv’ or ‘Applied Improvisation’. Maybe call it, “Communication and collaboration skills through medical improv”! No pre-req other than for students pursuing careers in healthcare”
Imagine a classroom with nursing, pre-med, med-tech, health education, social worker, physical, occupational, and speech therapy students all learning how to speak up and listen to each other, develop critical thinking and emotional intelligence and a wide range of ‘people’ or soft skills. Not only learning these essential skills but learning them together! Building relationships for an interdisciplinary network that will span entire careers and expand all over the world.
It could be a one-day seminar or a 4 credit semester-long course. It could be required or an elective. Perfect size would be 24-30 although even that could be much bigger with teaching assistants. If the school has a theatre department, they could participate. Maybe pilot a one-day workshop for Alum? There are all sorts of possibilities!
We sure do need to do something to better prepare our students for the real world of healthcare and ensure that they are positive change agents!
Here are two quick blogposts and one longer youtube [53 min] that help illustrate the underlying power of this playful work!