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Graphic Medicine

Information on the use of the comics medium to explore issues in healthcare.

What is Graphic Medicine?

"Graphic medicine is the intersection between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare" (Ian Williams, 2007).

Basically, it's the use of comics to explore issues in healthcare. The term "graphic" in the name refers to the use of visual imagery, not explicit content.

The comics medium appeals to a wide array of audiences with varying literacy levels, languages, and ages, making them excellent tools for conveying public health information. They can also be used for instructional purposes to educate readers about body systems and diseases in a unique way.

Graphic pathographies (illness narratives in graphic form) are the heart of graphic medicine. Many are memoirs of illness created by the person experiencing the illness, while others are memoirs from the physician/provider and family/caregiver points of view. 

Most importantly, by showcasing a lived experience from the patient's perspective, these pathographies give voice to those who are often not heard, and they help the reader gain insight into a person's personal experience of health, illness, caregiving and disability.

*Anything that affects a person's mental or physical health can be expressed through graphic medicine.*

Definition of graphic medicine from the Graphic Medicine Manifesto

MK Czerwiec, Ian Williams, Susan Merrill Squier, Michael J. Green, Kimberly R. Myers, Scott T. Smith. Graphic Medicine Manifesto. Penn State University Press; 2015.

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Websites to Explore

Graphic Medicine as Topic