Faculty Development Digest

Yes!!!!, And……


I recently returned from the Third International Medical Improv Train-the-Trainer Workshop and am excited about the potential applications. You may be understandingly skeptical about how improv relates to medicine-I certainly was when I first came across the workshop. But after attending, I feel there are a multitude of applications for medical improv and give you my Top Five.

1.     Yes, and... the first rule of improv is to agree, and then add information. Rather than saying “no” or “yes, but.” “Yes, and” creates a positive environment and encourages contributions from other. Rather than saying “no, we tried that before and it did not work,” try “yes, that is a good idea, and although we tried that before we may be able to partner with another department to make it successful.”  Using the “and” adds information and encourages collaboration and creativity. The principle has broad applications in our work—leadership, teaching, and patient care.

2.      Improv teaches you how to think on your feet and how to react and adapt very quickly to unexpected events and things you may not have planned for. This applies to patient care, precepting residents and medical students and the administrative “fires” that come up daily.

3.     Improv exercises can be used to build cohesion and encourage creativity in teams.

4.     Improv can enhance patient care. Another principle of improve is to truly be in the moment with the other person in the “scene.”  Core skills are listening and attending to non-verbal communication. 

5.     Improv can improve presentation skills in all venues-seminar teaching, precepting, meetings, and patient care.

I look forward to incorporating the skills I learned at the Medical Improv workshop into my teaching and also developing faculty development sessions on the topic. I highly recommend the conference (photo of the fabulous participants above) –contact me for more information.

Upcoming Conferences

UW SMPH Career Paths 101: Planning for Promotion 10/23/15

NAPCRG  2015 10/24-10/28

2015 WREN Convocation of Practices  10/14-10/16/15

Preventing Overdiagnosis 2015  9/1-9/3/15

Family Medicine Midwest  October 9-11, 2015

Call For Presentations:

2016 STFM Annual Conference

2015 WREN Convocation of Practices

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The Socially Responsible Medical School

The Real Problem with Medical Internships


Melissa Stiles, MD