Uh oh, the patient is is acting really strange! What illness does he or she have? The Strange Disease Diagnosis Game (which also goes by several other names, including the Mysterious Illness Game, Doctor Game, Psychiatrist Game, or Diagnosis Game) is a fun party game that involves some acting and guessing. It involves some improvisation and silliness. It works in different sized groups, although smaller groups of about 5-10 people is probably best.
Setup for the Strange Disease Diagnosis / Doctor Game / Psychiatrist Game
This is a relatively easy drama game which may be improvised or may involve some rehearsal or preparation if you so wish. The easiest way to play this game is to have one person playing the doctor and the other people play the patients. The doctor is asked to leave the room and the patients decide what disease, illness or syndrome they all have. For example, the patients comes up with a strange syndrome or disease that they all think they are chickens, that they are Sarah Palin, that they are secret agents, or so on.
Playing the Strange Disease Diagnosis / Doctor Game / Psychiatrist Game
The doctor must figure out what is wrong. He or she may ask any player a question, but everyone keeps track of the number of questions. After each question, the doctor can make a guess (diagnosis) of what he or she thinks is wrong.
Of course the patient cannot just say what their condition is; they need to give clues in their performance. A person who thinks they are a chicken will suddenly cluck without reason. If they think they’re Sarah Palin they might try to get them to vote for them. If they think they are being spied on they may look under the table, and so on. A doctor needs to ask questions, but need to do so in the role of a doctor.
When the doctor has correctly guessed the name of the condition (or close enough) or alternatively has given up and the patient has revealed it the patient and the doctor should change places and it’s the other person’s turn to guess.
If you want to play it in teams of two, one team could be doctor and patient while the other team could try to guess the syndrome. Then the teams switch places.