Since 2009, fourth-year medical students at Penn State College of Medicine have created comics as part of a course 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 help students develop their own stories into graphic depictions.
Taught seminar-style, the course requirements are minimal: participate in all classroom activities, be good colleagues to one another, and produce a short, original, graphic narrative, 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 is unlike any other in their medical school experience, the students rise to the task, sharing their reflections on becoming a doctor with honesty, wit, and creativity.
Enjoy the following Graphic Storytelling and Medical Narratives by the medical students at Penn State College of Medicine! (Click on Narrative Title to view).
Michael Green, MD, MS, FACP
Course Director, Professor of Humanities and Medicine
2013 Graphic Narratives
Perspective by: Trey Banbury
Great Expectations by: Jonathan Gandhi
Being a Patient Made Me a Better (Future) Doctor by: Jason Holmes
Medicine by: Matt Klocek
Spoiled Milk by: Megan Klocek
My Dream Vacation by: Jessica Walrath
HMC Safari Adventure by: Noelle Whyte
Archived Student Graphic Narratives
Articles about the storytelling class:
Click on the links below to download PDFs of individual articles
Beyond Superheroes: Comics as a New Genre for Medical Storytelling
Article in Lancaster Intelligencer Journal
CMAJ 2012 epub September 17
PODCAST- Conversation with Michael Green, M.D., M.S.
Other Resources on Graphic Medicine: