Graphic Medicine

2022 ~ Present | Shepherd Spinal Center


The goal of this course is to explore the intersections of health, storytelling, and visual communication. Collaborative projects might include comics, exhibitions, apps, and other creative projects meant to help make medical information more accessible and appealing to broad audiences. We will work with hospitals, clinics, and other medical professionals as partners.

Issues Involved or Addressed

Graphic medicine is a growing field that focuses on how visual communication can be used for public health purposes. Medical professionals and public health organizations have started using comics to communicate with stakeholders because the form's storytelling capabilities encourage empathy. Research has shown that patients and caregivers are more likely to pay attention to and understand information presented as a comic, rather than as an informational pamphlet. Additionally, visual storytelling and production offers opportunities to speak across language barriers, making graphic medicine a useful approach in multilingual contexts. On this team, we will create research-based comics and other projects meant to help medical information reach broader audiences. You might gain experience in:

-Analyzing published works of graphic medicine as models

-Practicing visual communication

-Researching medical conditions, treatments, and patient experiences


-Conducting interviews

-Designing and executing usability studies

-Designing exhibitions

-Planning and marketing events

-Navigating the IRB approval process

Methods and Technologies

  • Writing
  • Illustration
  • Interviews
  • Content analysis
  • Media production
  • Visual communication
  • Design

Academic Majors of Interest

  • BusinessLeadership and Organizational Change
  • BusinessMarketing
  • ComputingComputational Media
  • ComputingHuman-Centered Computing
  • ComputingHuman-Computer Interaction
  • DesignIndustrial Design
  • EngineeringBioinformatics
  • EngineeringChemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • EngineeringHealth Systems
  • EngineeringIndustrial Engineering
  • EngineeringMedical Physics
  • Ivan AllenDigital Media
  • Ivan AllenGlobal Media and Cultures
  • Ivan AllenHistory, Technology, and Society
  • Ivan AllenInternational Affairs
  • Ivan AllenLiterature, Media, and Communication
  • OtherEducation
  • OtherFilm and Media Studies
  • SciencesApplied Physiology
  • SciencesBiochemistry
  • SciencesBiology
  • SciencesChemistry
  • SciencesNeuroscience

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Interest in biological sciences and visual design a plus, though all students are welcome

Meeting Schedule & Location

Meeting Location 
Klaus 1440
Meeting Day 

Team Advisors

Dr. Leah Misemer
  • Vertically Integrated Projects

Partner(s) and Sponsor(s)

Shepherd Spinal Center