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Educ Prim Care. 2018 Sep 12:1-2. doi: 10.1080/14739879.2018.1509677. [Epub ahead of print]

Exploring the use of humour in medical education in the GP small group setting.

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a Wessex School of General Practice , Health Education England (Wessex) , Southampton , UK.


This report summaries work from a dissertation project which critically examines the uses of humour in the GP small group learning environment, via a qualitative enquiry approach. Humour is widely used in medical education, though conclusions from literature are ambiguous and rarely field-focused. The aims of my enquiry were to observe the types of humour used and explore the impact these have, with a focus on the 'curriculum in action'. I used two data collection methods including a group observation as a non-participant and a focus group discussion with trainees. Findings support the use of appropriate humour by trainees and facilitator to promote learning, including self-depreciating and dark humour. I propose that educators should be confident in using humour and brave in exploring new humour approaches and modalities, such as medical improvisation and the humanities.


GP; Humour; medical education; practitioner research; qualitative research; small group learning

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