What is the best way to teach about the doctor-patient relationship? How does one initiate a dialogue about social, racial, or gender issues in medicine? How can we best explore the ethical issues involved in caring for our patients and for ourselves? Medical Readers' Theater gives us a novel way to incorporate these issues into medical education and to explore their impact within the community.
Medical readers' theater has been used at the East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine for the past 14 years, where Todd L. Savitt, the editor of this guide, has served as coordinator of the program since its inception. The program has been picked up by three other medical schools in North Carolina, the National Rural Bioethics Project at the University of Montana, and many other medical schools across the country. The medical readers' theater program is designed to help lay people and medical professionals deal with the increasingly complex issues that surround medical care today.