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Original Research

It is story time!! Storytelling – Narrative session by medical students, an effective way of reflection of learning pharmacology

Divyashanthi C M, Dhivya Elango.


Background: Pharmacology, the study of drugs, is loaded with thousands of drug names, their mechanism of action, and adverse effects to be memorized, among which the drugs acting on central nervous system, especially antipsychotics, is a night mare for every medical student. “The Storytelling method” is implemented to increase the knowledge of students on antipsychotic drugs using storytelling method as an effective teaching strategy.

Aims and Objectives: The aims of this study were to evaluate the effect of reflective writing in learning Pharmacology, among 2nd year MBBS students in the form of storytelling.

Materials and Methods: Fifty students from 2nd year MBBS Students were involved in this teaching strategy. Students were randomly divided into ten groups (five per group). They were instructed to frame their own story/case scenario of a psychotic person treated with a P (Personalized) drug of their choice, the specific adverse effect encountered, and the methods to combat it. A time duration of 15 min was given and one person from each group had to narrate their story with voice modulation and hand gestures, for a maximum of 5 min.

Results: Validated questionnaire is used for assessing the effectiveness of “storytelling method.” Six of the questions were quantitative and two were qualitative. More than 90% (n = 45) students described the storytelling session as “Creative and Fun filled” when compared to routine classes. Ninety-four percentage (n = 47) of students responded that “Storytelling” session improved their creative thinking on the subject.

Conclusion: Storytelling strategy in pharmacology can help students in better understanding of the drug action and their adverse effects than traditional teaching methods.

Key words: Storytelling; Teaching Method; Pharmacology; Innovative Teaching; Antipsychotic Drugs

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