The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 10, No 1 (2022)

The use of humour in medical education: students’ perspective

Rim Taleb,Hadi Itani,Sanaa Itani,Rayane Salameh,Aya Ramadan,Khaled Sidani


In early 20th century, Sir William Osler supported the use of humour as an efficacious tool in medical education, which continues to be used today. Despite the abundance of literature delineating this important role, it is often overlooked among medical students. A descriptive cross-sectional study was planned where a total of 295 medical students from the pre-clerkship and clerkship phases at Beirut Arab University Faculty of Medicine were included in the study. A questionnaire was distributed among the participants assessing their perception on the use of humour in medical education. Data were collected, entered, and analysed on SPSS software version 23.1. Results with p-value < 0.05 were considered statistically significant. The majority of participants agreed to the implementation of humour in medical education. They supported different forms of humour to be used, and considered mockery, sarcasm, the instructor appearing as a performer, and humour that is irrelevant to the course as inappropriate. Inappropriate humour distracts attention and disrupts the formal atmosphere. Our findings suggest that medical students’ opinions on using humour in medical education are supportive. The findings of this study might be of benefit to assist teachers in using humour to improve the attendance and interest of the students in the class and create an environment conducive to optimal student learning.


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