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

  • BusinessAccounting
  • BusinessFinance
  • BusinessGeneral Management
  • BusinessGlobal Development
  • BusinessIT Management
  • BusinessLeadership and Organizational Change
  • BusinessMarketing
  • BusinessOperations and Supply Chain Management
  • BusinessStrategy and Innovation
  • ComputingAlgorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization
  • ComputingAnalytics
  • ComputingComputational Media
  • ComputingComputational Science and Engineering
  • ComputingComputer Science
  • ComputingCybersecurity
  • ComputingHuman-Centered Computing
  • ComputingHuman-Computer Interaction
  • ComputingOMSCS asynchronous
  • ComputingOMSCS asynchronous, case-by-case
  • ComputingOMSCS synchronous
  • ComputingOMSCS synchronous, case-by-case
  • DesignArchitectural Technology
  • DesignArchitecture
  • DesignBuilding Construction
  • DesignBuilding Construction and Facility Management
  • DesignCity and Regional Planning
  • DesignGeographic Information Science and Technology
  • DesignIndustrial Design
  • DesignMusic Technology
  • DesignUrban Design
  • EngineeringAerospace Engineering
  • EngineeringApplied Systems Engineering
  • EngineeringBioengineering
  • EngineeringBioinformatics
  • EngineeringBiomedical Engineering
  • EngineeringChemical Engineering
  • EngineeringChemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • EngineeringCivil Engineering
  • EngineeringComputer Engineering
  • EngineeringElectrical Engineering
  • EngineeringEnvironmental Engineering
  • EngineeringHealth Systems
  • EngineeringIndustrial EngineeringPre-Approved by ISYE
  • EngineeringInternational Logistics
  • EngineeringMachine Learning
  • EngineeringMaterials Science and Engineering
  • EngineeringMechanical Engineering
  • EngineeringMedical Physics
  • EngineeringRobotics
  • Ivan AllenApplied Languages and Intercultural Studies
  • Ivan AllenChinese
  • Ivan AllenDigital Media
  • Ivan AllenEconomics
  • Ivan AllenEconomics and International Affairs
  • Ivan AllenFrench
  • Ivan AllenGerman
  • Ivan AllenGlobal Economics and Modern Languages
  • Ivan AllenGlobal Media and Cultures
  • Ivan AllenHistory, Technology, and Society
  • Ivan AllenInternational Affairs
  • Ivan AllenInternational Affairs and Modern Languages
  • Ivan AllenInternational Affairs, Science, and Technology
  • Ivan AllenJapanese
  • Ivan AllenKorean
  • Ivan AllenLiterature, Media, and Communication
  • Ivan AllenPublic Policy
  • Ivan AllenSpanish
  • OtherAny Discipline
  • OtherEducation
  • OtherEntrepreneurship
  • OtherFilm and Media Studies
  • OtherMusic
  • OtherPre-Law
  • Physics
  • SciencesApplied Physics
  • SciencesApplied Physiology
  • SciencesBiochemistry
  • SciencesBiology
  • SciencesChemistry
  • SciencesEarth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • SciencesMathematics
  • SciencesNeuroscience
  • SciencesPhysics
  • SciencesPsychology
  • SciencesStatistics

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