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Revista de Medicina y Cine ; 18(3):225-236, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2155843


Background: During epidemic disease outbreaks, people’s daily lives are restricted by quarantine and social distancing measures that can affect not only their physical and mental health but also other aspects of their lives, including education. The quality of medical education has suffered amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with on-site classes and conferences canceled or postponed. To address the resultant gaps in learning and supplement the rigors of formal medical teaching, recent research has suggested the use of nonfictional films. However, research on the educational and therapeutic value of fictional films is currently lacking. Methods: This study explored fiction films featuring medical practices, diseases, and treatments. The researcher conducted multiple searches using the largest internet movie databases (Internet Movie Database (IMDb), the American Film Institute Catalog, and the British Film Institute’s Collections Search) and literature research focusing on studies related to the value of films as visual learning and educational tools and their therapeutic effects on viewers in times of pandemics. Results: The researcher chose a representative selection of 20 films from over 100 years of cinematic history to educate and intellectually challenge practitioners under lockdown and use as a therapeutic tool. This study identified many ways films could be a potent instrument for medical education and a wide range of educational and therapeutic possibilities for use during public health crises. Medical fiction offers a highly entertaining and effective way to expand and improve medical knowledge and practices while respecting pandemic restrictions. The findings expand our knowledge on the value of medical fiction as an educational and therapeutic tool. Conclusions: Fictional films can be an advantageous, effective, and entertaining medium for educating physicians and improving their medical skills and practices. When public health crises or other concerns necessitate «work from home» and socially distanced conditions, movies can augment and enhance high-level medical learning and offer new perspectives that might be obscured in times of trauma, making them especially valuable for those struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. © 2022 The authors.