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Something remarkable and game changing is being sparked in the alliance between comics and medicine. It’s becoming clear that these graphic narratives can deepen understanding, not only of facts but of feelings, between patients, family, and professionals. A spoonful of comics really does help the medicine go down.”
– Paul Gravett, author of Comics Art and the editor of 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die

Graphic Medicine is the use of comics in medical education and patient care. Graphic novels related to illness, aging, and other difficult topics are emerging as a robust and widely varied sub-genre of adult graphic novels. The open format and ability to incorporate both words and pictures allow authors to tell deeply personal stories in powerful yet relatable ways.

YDL’s Graphic Medicine Collection features over 300 titles that define the category. This collection was recognized when YDL won the 2014 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grant for Libraries.  We hope they will be of help to our patrons who have dealt with illness, whether as healthcare professionals, patients or as caregivers.

For up-to-date information about the field of Graphic Medicine, visit the website and listen to the Graphic Medicine Podcast.

Comics and graphic novels are being used as resources for health professionals, playing a valuable role in:

  • reflecting or changing cultural perceptions of medicine,
  • relating to the subjective patient/carer/provider experience,
  • enabling discussion of difficult subjects,
  • and helping sufferers or caregivers.                        

GM NLM Exhibit



Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived & Well-Drawn!

NIH Recording of A Conversation about Graphic Medicine

Education Resources
Graphic Medicine and Mental Health
Students explore the graphic novel format used for personal stories of illnesses, known as graphic medicine. Grades 7-10; Health Education; Three 45-minute class periods.

Comics for Health and Medicine University Module
College and health professional students examine the field of Graphic Medicine, focusing on the use of comics as a medium for communicating stories about medicine and the experience of illness. Author: Michael Green is a physician, bioethicist, and one of the founders of the Graphic Medicine field. He has pioneered the teaching of Graphic Medicine for medical students, and has been using comics in medical education for many years.