Medical students improve teen interviewing skills with help from young actors

Published: Wednesday, May 8 2013 10:19 p.m. MDT

"A lot of (the feedback) was trying to help us word our questions better, or relate to the patients better, and they were very honest," he said.

Gottlieb said the best advice he received was to be clear about what confidentiality meant in regard to a teen's care. He also learned to use a lot of open-ended questions to encourage the teen to speak.

The benefits are two-fold: Doctors understand how to be more sensitive to teenage patients, and the teens are conquering new acting challenges.

"I learned a lot about the medical world," said Chloe Betts, a ninth-grader who portrayed a girl who was pregnant, promiscuous and didn't like society. "I also learned a lot about serious improv, because I usually do comedic improv and that's fun, but this is more a serious thing."

Several of the young actors have volunteered to help the doctors with the training after the school year ends. Hemond said she hopes to continue the program year-round.

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