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Best Medicine attendees laugh at the show Friday, Feb. 23 at the Lyric Theatre
Photo by Chris Dennan/Staff Photographer

Kristina Balciunaite
Life & Style Editor
kribal@uab.edu

Songs about the struggles of a medical student, BuzzFeed-style videos with professors attempting to differentiate microscopic images from body tissue to toilet paper and even a remake of The Office’s lipdub video were just some features of the ninth annual Best Medicine Show. A packed Lyric Theatre audience welcomed comedians, musicians and other performers in the medicine-themed benefit event Friday, Feb. 23. 

“It’s tradition,” said Ashley Pettaway, a fourth-year medical student and chair of the Creative Direction Committee for the Best Medicine Show. “It’s an outlet for medical students, a way to highlight our talents.” 

The idea behind the show is to relieve stress and sickness with laughter and fun, hence using the saying “laughter is the best medicine” in the tagline. Various videographic and theatrical skits had the audience laughing to the point of tears.  

“It’s the funniest night of the year,” Brooke Becker, a second-year medical student and performer of the closing act at the Best Medicine Show. “It’s a lot of laughs and it’s really fun.”  

A friendly and vibrant atmosphere continued throughout the evening. For some, this show brought forth feelings of sentimentality as they near graduation.  

“It feels nostalgic almost,” said Ravi Jariwala, a fourth-year medical student. “I’ve been through this four or five times, and it’s my last year.”  

According to Abby Threet, director of the Best Medicine Show, when the skit night first started, the attendance kept growing so rapidly that they decided to turn it into a production instead. 

“It was just a bunch of medical students that got together to take a break from studying and have a good time,” said Cassie Shaw, a second-year medical student and merchandise chair for the Best Medicine Show. “Now, it’s a variety show that highlights that medical students do things other than studying.”  

The proceeds of the show are dedicated to a charity. This year, for the second consecutive year, the receiver was Equal Access Birmingham, a clinic operated by students for Birmingham residents who do not have medical insurance. This has made the show much more personal for the students involved.  

“This is what I have invested myself in most during medical school,” Threet said. “I’ve spent three years working with this organization. It means so much to me just to see students come together and have fun and use their creative talents for greater good.”  

This year, the show received a record amount of performance submissions, extending the whole show to last a full two and a half hours. 

“It’s become something incredible,” Threet said. “It’s both meaningful and fun. You get to see what talents all of these future [doctors] have hiding underneath their white coat.”

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