In February, 2009, 16 medical students in their final year at Penn State College of Medicine enrolled in an elective course in Medical Humanities called “Graphic Storytelling and Medical Narratives.” The course was developed to show fourth-year medical students “how graphics and text can be used to effectively communicate complex medical narratives, and [to] develop their own stories into graphic depictions.” Taught seminar-style, the course requirements were minimal: participate in all classroom activities, be good colleagues to one another, and produce a short, original, illustrated story, or “Comic.” Of course not all medical students are naturally gifted writers or artists, but as one can see from the following pages, everyone can tell stories and everyone can draw pictures. While this course was unlike any other in their medical school experience, the students rose to the task, sharing their reflections on becoming a doctor with honesty, wit, and creativity.
Enjoy this first edition of Graphic Storytelling and Medical Narratives by the medical students at Penn State College of Medicine!
For more information about about the Department of Humanities at Penn State College of Medicine, click here.
Michael Green, MD, MS, FACP
Professor of Humanities and Medicine