Beyond Superheroes: Comics as a New Genre for Medical Storytelling

31 Jul

Watch out Superman, Penn State College of Medicine is in town.  Here, a fourth year medical student may choose to take a Humanities course about comics entitled “Graphic Storytelling and Medical Narratives.”  The class was created as research has been proven that some students learn serious topics well when learned as a graphic narrative.  Medical storytelling is a genre that is growing – as patients and doctors alike write comics relating their experiences.  Based on a pre-course assessment of attitudes and skills repeated at the completion of the course, instructors at Penn State found this course helped medical students improve their communication and observation skills, better appreciate patient’ experience of their illnesses, and become more aware of the effects of body language on patient care.  Turns out it was worth to try something new – Scott McCloud would be proud!

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