Cian O’Luanaigh has penned a fascinating piece for The Guardian about medicine in comics. This isn’t just a survey of comics about diseases and healers (although there is some of that) but also an account of how medical professionals use comics to describe their experiences and raise consciousness among students. Like hospice care nurse MK Czerwiec:
Czerwiec has encouraged medical students to follow her lead and reflect on their experiences through comics. “We did an exercise in which we asked students to draw a diagnosis as if they were a patient receiving it, and we also asked them to draw a different diagnosis as if they were a doctor giving it,” said Czerwiec. “When they drew diagnoses as a doctor, they drew disembodied body parts, but when they drew as a patient they drew embodied experiences of illness, with reference to an emotional reaction and to their whole families and lives.”
Examples cited range from Rex Morgan, MD, to Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, and the story is copiously illustrated with panels from Brian Fies’s Mom’s Cancer that describe chemotherapy in both scientific and personal terms.
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