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AMA J Ethics. 2018 Feb 1;20(1):158-166. doi: 10.1001/journalofethics.2018.20.2.medu2-1802.

Graphic Pathographies and the Ethical Practice of Person-Centered Medicine.

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An associate professor of humanities and medicine at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and editor of three international, multidisciplinary books and co-author of Graphic Medicine Manifesto (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015).


Graphic medicine is a swiftly growing movement that explores, theoretically and practically, the use of comics in medical education and patient care. At the heart of graphic medicine are graphic pathographies, stories of illness conveyed in comic form. These stories are helpful tools for health care professionals who seek new insight into the personal, lived experience of illness and for patients who want to learn more about their disease from others who have actually experienced it. Featuring excerpts from five graphic pathographies, this essay illustrates how the medium can be used to educate patients and enhance empathy in health care professionals, particularly with regard to informed consent and end-of-life issues.

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