Download PDFPDF
Grace Under Pressure: a drama-based approach to tackling mistreatment of medical students
Compose Response

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g.
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests


  • A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in a BMJ journal; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed unless it is also republished as a Letter, Correspondence or as other content. Find out more about rapid responses.
  • We intend to post all responses which are approved by the Editor, within 14 days (BMJ Journals) or 24 hours (The BMJ), however timeframes cannot be guaranteed. Responses must comply with our requirements and should contribute substantially to the topic, but it is at our absolute discretion whether we publish a response, and we reserve the right to edit or remove responses before and after publication and also republish some or all in other BMJ publications, including third party local editions in other countries and languages
  • Our requirements are stated in our rapid response terms and conditions and must be read. These include ensuring that: i) you do not include any illustrative content including tables and graphs, ii) you do not include any information that includes specifics about any patients,iii) you do not include any original data, unless it has already been published in a peer reviewed journal and you have included a reference, iv) your response is lawful, not defamatory, original and accurate, v) you declare any competing interests, vi) you understand that your name and other personal details set out in our rapid response terms and conditions will be published with any responses we publish and vii) you understand that once a response is published, we may continue to publish your response and/or edit or remove it in the future.
  • By submitting this rapid response you are agreeing to our terms and conditions for rapid responses and understand that your personal data will be processed in accordance with those terms and our privacy notice.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

Other responses

Jump to comment:

  • Published on:
    Response to Kamath et al 'A syncretic approach can yield dividends'
    • Paul Macneill, Hon. Associate Professor Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    • Other Contributors:
      • Karen M Scott, Senior Lecturer
      • Jo River, Lecturer
      • Paul Dwyer, Senior Lecturer
      • Claire Hooker, Senior Lecturer, Medical Humanities
      • Louise Nash, Associate Professor
      • Kimberley Ivory, Senior Lecturer

    Dear Editor,

    We welcome the response from Kamath et al and their insight into the issues and culture within medicine in India, and their thoughts about how to address these issues. We also agree that a drama-based approach is not sufficient on its own to deal with entrenched power issues which affect students adversely. As we have indicated, we believe “a multipronged approach is needed to generate systemic change.” These authors similarly advocate that student mistreatment be dealt with “in a comprehensive manner” including a ‘grievance redressal system’ and other measures to withhold accreditation where there are issues of abuse of power.

    Nevertheless, we note that Kamath et al have responded positively to our approach—as a part of that mix—and it would be of great interest to see whether drama-based workshops could support medical students developing embodied acting skills in their institution and whether they may have similar transformative effects. We’d like to refer the authors to an excellent Medical Humanities paper we referenced that outlined drama-based activities in medical education in India: Gupta S, Singh S. Confluence: understanding medical humanities through street theatre. Medical Humanities. 2011;37(2):127-128.

    Despite the above article, the authors note that medical education in India has not embraced the medical humanities. We would draw a distinction within the medical humanities between activities which are primarily studious (re...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    A syncretic approach can yield dividends
    • Rajesh Kamath, Assistant Professor Department of Public health, Manipal University
    • Other Contributors:
      • Sagarika Kamath, Assistant Professor
      • Brayal D'Souza, Assistant Professor

    Dear editor,

    We read with great interest “Grace Under Pressure: a drama-based approach to tackling mistreatment of medical students”,Scott et al, in the March 2017 issue.The percentages of medical students in American and Australian settings who faced discrimination, harassment and “teaching by humiliation” were pretty significant.

    An observation that we would like to make is that we feel that the form of intervention outlined in this paper would be of even more relevance in Indian settings,where one has the additional influences of patriarchal and sometimes misogynistic beliefs and practices, caste hierarchies,a culture of marked deference to seniors,and starkly contrasting socio-economic backgrounds.To add to the mix,the regulatory environment in which medical institutions function in India is already a compromised one.The Medical Council of India has been widely panned for corruption,with an Indian parliamentary committee report calling it a “club” of influential medical practitioners who act without any fear of governance and regulations.1A sitting Union health minister has been no less scathing.2When this is the situation with regard to compliance with “hard” requirements like infrastructure,manpower,equipment and admission criteria,one would have to be a die-hard optimist to believe that what is perceived as a “soft” issue like student mistreatment would get the attention that it deserves on a large scale.A significant number of students who face...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.