[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 18.207.240.35. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Views 3,403
Citations 0
Perspective
December 9, 2019

Lessons From Improv Comedy to Reduce Health Disparities

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(1):5-6. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2019.5930

“Can someone suggest a location that can fit on this theater stage?”

“Restaurant kitchen.”

“Great! Let’s begin.”

Three years ago, I started taking improvisational (or improv) comedy courses, and I am now in standup comedy training. Improv comedy performers, such as those in the troupe I am in, The Excited State (Figure), extemporaneously act out scenes using audience suggestions rather than a defined script. Hearing about my avocation when it was new, a friend said, “Marshall—and I say this with the utmost respect—I can’t picture you doing improv comedy.” While not a natural, I love performing improv and have unexpectedly learned important lessons for reducing health disparities.

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words
    ×