Improv Actors Needed to Train WashU Physicians

Communication Education Research Team (CERT), Washington University School of Medicine

A new curriculum at Washington University School of Medicine aims to improve the communication skills of our Physicians, trainees, and other medical staff with your help. We are searching for a diverse troupe of 8 actors who can perform realistic improvisational scenarios as a patient or family member in conversation with a medical provider. The actors will work from well-developed character biographies in emotional conversations that will focus on bad medical news, sick or dying family members, or medical uncertainty. The educational curriculum for our medical providers focuses on compassionately addressing emotions that naturally arise in these conversations and presenting complex medical information clearly and concisely.

After 2-3 rehearsals, beginning in December 2018, we will begin three, three-hour sessions per month in February 2018 with 2 actors per session. This will continue monthly with plans to increase the number of sessions per month in Summer 2019 as the curriculum is expanded. All sessions will be during weekdays and scheduled several months in advance. We pay hourly and will provide food. All sessions will be held at Barnes Jewish Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine Campus.

All ages (18 to 65+) and cultural backgrounds are needed.

If interested, please email Devin Odom, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Senior Faculty for Vital Talk (, Washington University School of Medicine, for audition information and other details: