We have all had experiences with sickness, care giving, physicians, medical emergencies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices. Health concerns are not solely the domain of medical students, physicians, or nurses—we all deal with our personal well-being and the health of our loved ones on a daily basis. Sometimes these health problems cause us to consider larger social and ethical issues. How do we respond and relate to such matters? In order to help both lay people and medical professionals consider various health care issues, East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine developed a medical readers' theater program. Compiled for the first time in a single text, Medical Readers’ Theater: A Guide and Scripts provides a vehicle for those who wish to engage in discussions among citizens and professionals about important, topical issues in contemporary medicine.

Consisting of fourteen readers’ theater scripts, a step-by-step guide to performing readers’ theater, and questions for post-performance discussions, this volume utilizes stories by William Carlos Williams, Susan Onthank Mates, Arthur Conan Doyle, Pearl Buck, and many more. Physician/patient relationships, organ donation, chronic illness, race and ethnicity, death and dying, and aging are just a few of the topics covered in this valuable text.

Medical Readers’ Theater can be used in classrooms, hospitals, libraries, or other community settings where citizens can consider views on issues of common concern in the medical world.

Sample questions from Medical Readers’ Theater:

Do you think race/gender/sexual orientation/socioeconomic status play a role in the way health care professionals deal with patients?

Is medicine’s role to deal with the larger issues of society or with the narrower matter of healing the sick?

Is it surprising to learn that physicians can be uncertain about the decisions they make about patients?

Do patients have realistic expectations of physicians?

Medical Readers’ Theater is an essential book for those involved in the education of medical students and looking for ways to bring students and citizens together to discuss issues of mutual interest.”—Journal of the History of Medicine
Medical Readers’ Theater is a collection of skillfully rendered, easy-to-perform dramatizations of citizens’ encounters with health professionals. Savitt’s generosity in making his work available to us, with guides for production and discussion, is a gift that will educate and move all those who experience these plays—as audience or participant.”— Suzanne Poirier, Ph.D., director of Medical Humanities, University of Illinois College of Medicine
“Few approaches to medical education have been as useful to me as Medical Readers’ Theater. This is a creative tool that gives physicians the opportunity to find a deeper richness and meaning in their work. Savitt is to be commended for developing a creative approach that is a refreshing alternative to traditional medical education teaching methods.”—Eric L. Weiner, Assistant Director, Behavioral Medicine Education, McLaren Family Practice Center, Flint, Michigan
“Readers’ theater offers an interactive way for healthcare providers, patients, and families to jointly explore the context in which healthcare services are provided. That exploration, in turn, offers meaningful opportunities for creating sensitive, culturally attuned healthcare services.”—Ann Cook, Executive Director, National Rural Bioethics Project
“Theater is a fine vehicle for discussion of ethical and social issues in healthcare, and Medical Readers’ Theater: A Guide and Scripts is a helpful introduction to its use.”—Nancy M.P. King, Professor of Social Medicine, UNC School of Medicine

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212 pages