Sunday, September 11, 2016

Our Medical Humanities Group of UCMS shall be conducting a 'Reviving Humanities in Medical Education' (RHiME) Workshop at Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun from 21-24 Sept 2016. It will include Theatre of the Oppressed as well as Graphic Medicine.

To spread medical humanities (MH), we have been conducting RHiME workshops. Our first one was at PSG Coimbatore in  2014, followed up by in 2015 at Jorhat Medical College, Assam. The third one was in Bharti Vidyapeeth Medical College, Pune and fourth one at Dehradun. If you see, the last three were all conducted at the cultural capitals of the respective States.

The fifth one will be International one with University of Chicago at the Capital of India on 2-4 November 2016. In addition we have our own MH journal -Research & Humanities in Medical Education (

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Picturing Illness: History, Poetics, and Graphic Medicine

Comics have often been treated as a juvenile and sub-literary art form; however, taking cues from the new-found cultural acceptance of comics, particularly with the publication of Art Spiegelman’s Maus (1986), Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth (2000), and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragedy (2006), there have emerged, over the past decade, a new breed of comics dealing with the patient/caregivers’ experiences, perspectives and identities.

Christened as graphic medicine, these illness narratives use comics as a medium to address wide ranging disease/illness related issues. The present review examines the following issues: What is graphic medicine? Is there a tangible relationship between underground comics and graphic medicine? If so, can we regard underground comics as historical precedent to graphic medicine? What are the uses of comics in medicine? Broadly put, drawing examples from various graphic medical narratives, the paper seeks to trace the history and poetics of graphic medicine.

Read the full review article here on the journal website: Research & Humanities in Medical Education

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Comics, medicine and professional identity formation

Michael Green conducted the first ever comic course for medical students anywhere in the world and has accumulated six years of experience from 2009 to 2014. In fact he described the field of 'Graphic Medicine' coined by Ian Williams. The current issue of Academic Medicine covers his article.

Green MJ. Comics and medicine: peering into the process of professional identity formation. Acad Med. 2015 Jun; 90(06): 774-9.

Problem: Medical students experience transformative personal and professional changes during medical school. The medical education community has much to learn about how students perceive these changes, which can be dramatic and profound.

Approach: Over the past six years (2009–2014), the author has taught a course on medical graphic narratives (or comics) to fourth-year medical students. Comics synergistically combine words and images to tell stories and provide an effective vehicle for helping students reflect on and give voice to varied experiences. In this course, students critically read and discuss medically themed comics and create their own original comic depicting a formative experience from medical school.

Outcomes: To date, 58 students have taken the course, and each has produced an original comic. The author conducted a thematic analysis of their comics and identified the following themes: (1) how I found my niche, (2) the medical student as patient, (3) reflections on a transformative experience, (4) connecting with a patient, and (5) the triumphs and challenges of becoming a doctor. Pre/post course assessments indicate that students believe creating a comic can significantly improve a variety of doctoring skills and attitudes, including empathy, communication, clinical reasoning, writing, attention to nonverbal cues, and awareness of physician bias. Students’ comics reveal the impact of formative events on their professional identity formation.

Next Steps: Medical educators should explore additional ways to effectively integrate comics into medical school curricula and develop robust tools for evaluating their short- and long-term impact.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Graphic Medicine Manifesto

Penn State University Press has announced the publication of the Graphic Medicine Manifesto, co authored by MK Czerwiec, Ian Williams, Susan Squier, Michael Green, Kimberley Myers, and Scott Smith.

“Something remarkable and game changing is being sparked by the alliance between comics and medicine. It’s becoming clear that these graphic narratives can deepen understanding, not only of facts but of feelings, between patients, families, and professionals. A spoonful of comics really does help the medicine go down.” —Paul Gravett, author of Comics Art and editor of 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die

This inaugural volume in the Graphic Medicine series establishes the principles of graphic medicine and begins to map the field. 

The volume combines scholarly essays by members of the editorial team with previously unpublished visual narratives by Ian Williams and MK Czerwiec, and it includes arresting visual work from a wide range of graphic medicine practitioners.

The book’s first section, featuring essays by Scott Smith and Susan Squier, argues that as a new area of scholarship, research on graphic medicine has the potential to challenge the conventional boundaries of academic disciplines, raise questions about their foundations, and reinvigorate literary scholarship—and the notion of the literary text—for a broader audience.

The second section, incorporating essays by Michael Green and Kimberly Myers, demonstrates that graphic medicine narratives can engage members of the health professions with literary and visual representations and symbolic practices that offer patients, family members, physicians, and other caregivers new ways to experience and work with the complex challenges of the medical experience.

The final section, by Ian Williams and MK Czerwiec, focuses on the practice of creating graphic narratives, iconography, drawing as a social practice, and the nature of comics as visual rhetoric. A conclusion (in comics form) testifies to the diverse and growing graphic medicine community. Two valuable bibliographies guide readers to comics and scholarly works relevant to the field.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

4th International Conference of Comics and Medicine

Ethics Under Cover: Comics, Medicine and Society
5th-7th July 2013
Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Brighton and Sussex Medical School in collaboration with Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust and Graphic Medicine invites papers for the fourth international conference on Comics and Medicine. Previous meetings have been held in London, Chicago and Toronto (more information
This interdisciplinary conference intends to appeal to a wide audience, including healthcare professionals, comics creators, students, academic scholars, comics enthusiasts, and various stakeholder groups. The meeting will consist of a mix of peer reviewed academic papers, lectures and workshops. There will also be an exhibition and stalls for participants’ work.
We invite proposals for scholarly papers (15-20 minutes) or panel discussions (60 minutes) focusing on medicine and comics in any form (e.g. graphic novels, comic strips, graphic pathographies, bande dessinĂ©es, manga, and/or web comics). The theme of this year’s conference means we are interested in work with an ethical flavour. In particular, we seek presentations on:

Ethics under cover (i.e. how ethical issues are tackled under the surface of graphic works)

Illness narrative and the comic form

Balancing humour and respect in comics about illness and disability

Comics as resistance to the biomedical mainstream

Comics as a way of seeing and representing illness and the role of healthcare professionals

Comics in practitioner research and as a method of reflection

Comics in cross-disciplinary education as both subject and tool

Comics in literature, medicine and the bioethics classroom

Comics within different healthcare systems

European and international perspectives on graphic medicine and the scope for cross cultural analysis
We also welcome workshops (120 minutes). These are intended to be “hands-on” interactive workshops for participants who wish to obtain particular skills with regard to comics and medicine. Suggested subjects for workshops are:

Creating comics

Understanding, reviewing and critiquing comics

Getting comics published

Teaching and learning with comics

Proposals may be in Word, PDF, or RTF formats with the following information in this order:



email address

title of abstract

body of abstract

Sample images or weblinks to work being discussed

Please identify your presentation preference:

oral presentation

panel discussion


Please also specify equipment you might need (e.g. AV projection, whiteboard, easel, etc.)

300-word proposals should be submitted online by Friday, 22nd February 2013 to

Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by an interdisciplinary selection committee. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be completed by 15th March 2013. While we cannot guarantee that presenters will receive their first choice of presentation format, we will attempt to honour people’s preferences, and we will acknowledge the receipt of all proposals submitted.
Please note: Presenters are responsible for session expenses (e.g. handouts) and personal expenses (travel, hotel, and meeting registration fees). All presenters must register for the conference (maximum registration fee will be £70 or approximately US $115).

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Parallel Lines

Parallel Lines (English) and Samanantar Rekhayein (Hindi) are the second in the series of Devcom (development comics) published by World Comics India. It has a foreword by Polyp, a British cartoonist based in Manchester.
These comics start describing development from where the earlier ones left and take it a level further, not just in terms of description but visual aesthetics and storytelling techniques as well. All stories have a different art as well as narration style owing to the different backgrounds of the artists. It is to be noted that most of them are not trained artists and have learnt the art over a period of time working with World Comics and their local organizations.
The stories this time are longer (14-16 pages) contributed by Sunder Mohan Murmu, Rajeswari Saha, Siddharth Sarathi, Amrith Basumatari and Lakhindra Nayak. The comic took an year in the making and throughout that period the creators had extensive discussions and workshops on the art of making comics, visualization, frame composition, inking, texturing etc. They also had prolonged discussions on their stories where each had to defend their story from the critical view of the rest as well as accept suggestions.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review of 'Disrepute' in BMJ Medical Humanities

Book Review by Michael Green

Comics from the dark side of medicine: Thom Ferrier's Disrepute

"Thom Ferrier's new collection of graphic narratives, Disrepute, was recently published by Graphic Medicine Press. While the book may not be easy to find, it is well worth the effort. But be forewarned: this doctor-centric collection is neither the melodrama of Rex Morgan M.D. nor the droll silliness of New Yorker cartoons. In Ferrier's capable hands, the doctor's dark, angry and complicated inner world emerges. His comics are full of the stuff that doctors think about privately but do not dare say in public. It is about the insecurities that come with being uncertain, the exhaustion of being on the receiving end of others’ constant expectations, and the dark thoughts that (some) doctors have about death and dying. In short, it is about life itself, written and drawn by someone who has seen and experienced a fair slice of it as an experienced rural general practitioner. 

Ferrier is the nom de plume of Ian Williams, a British physician/artist who founded the Graphic Medicine website devoted to the growing field of comics and medicine ("

Read the full review by Michael Green at BMJ Medical Humanities