Mike Smith, MD

    In 2014, Mike began taking Level 1 improv classes. Realizing early on that improv skills could help him as an academic hospitalist, Mike began implementing these skills at work. The result? More fulfilling work, more meaningful interactions with patients, and more effective teaching.

    In 2017, Mike found himself on the other side of healthcare, as several of his immediate family members received serious medical diagnoses. Throughout this time, he saw several well-intentioned and very intelligent healthcare professionals cause harm to his loved ones through their methods of communication. It was here that Mike posed the question: Can practicing improv help healthcare professionals avoid this unintentional harm in the future?

    In 2018, Mike put his idea into practice and led several workshops with the goal of spreading the professional and personal benefits of improv to a larger healthcare audience.

    Over the last five years, he has collaborated with professionals in theater and healthcare to bring experiences using improvisational theater to groups of doctors, nurses, physicians’ assistants, pharmacists, genetic counsellors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, medical librarians, and many more.