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The Arts and Medicine
December 27, 2016

Graphic MedicineThe Best of 2016

Author Affiliations
  • 1Departments of Humanities and Medicine, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania
  • 2Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2016;316(24):2580-2581. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.19200

Graphic medicine, a term coined in 2007 by British doctor Ian Williams, explores the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of health care and is thriving at the juncture of art, literature, popular culture, and health.1 The heart of graphic medicine is storytelling about health and illness. A common theme is the portrayal of the patient’s complex experience through an unmasking of issues that are often marginalized or even taboo in medical and social discourse.2 The ability of comics to capture the emotional intensity of medical narratives and to critically comment on the delivery and impact of health care amplifies the voice of the patient in the clinical encounter and is a powerful way to tell stories about the medical profession and those who come into contact with it.

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