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Using a second-language drama competition to foster medical humanities education

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Drama has had a long-standing role in medical education. This article describes a voluntary English play competition for Chinese students, with original scripts, designed to help students engage with issues of medical humanities (MH). Over a five-year period, the resulting plays have demonstrated growing maturity of understanding and presentation, as well as increasing engagement with the activity to a surprising extent. Focus group interviews with participants following the 2015 competition showed substantial awareness of MH issues, altered opinions as a result of participation, growing sophistication of views over time and contribution to disciplinary identity, in addition to benefits in problem-solving, teamwork and friendship.
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Keywords: disciplinary identity; drama; medical education; medical humanities; stress; teamwork

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Peking University Institute for Medical Humanities

Publication date: December 1, 2017

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  • The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines 'health' broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.
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