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Performance and palliative care: a drama module for medical students
  1. Ewan James Jeffrey1,
  2. Jen Goddard2,
  3. David Jeffrey3
  1. 1Department of Languages, Literatures, Performing Arts, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  2. 2Department of Drama Studies, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  3. 3Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee University Medical School, Dundee, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Jeffrey, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK; d.i.jeffrey{at}


This paper describes an innovative 2 weeks module for medical students facilitated by drama educators and a palliative medicine doctor. The module incorporates drama, end-of-life care, teamwork and reflective practice. The module contents, practical aspects of drama teaching and learning outcomes are discussed. Various themes emerged from a study of Harold Pinter's play, The Caretaker, which were relevant to clinical practice: silence, power, communication, uncertainty and unanswered questions. Drama teaching may be one way of enhancing students’ confidence, increasing self- awareness, developing ethical thinking and fostering teamworking.

  • End of life care

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