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New therapeutic tool in the doctor's bag: comic strips

The New York Times/ Chicago News Cooperative, June 17, 2011

As a nurse at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, MK Czerwiec grieved when the AIDS unit in which she worked closed in 2000. So she drew a picture of herself, wrote that she was sad and stuck a border around it. She tried a few more panels and created a comic strip with a story. It helped her process her loss, she said, and put myself in a place of hope. It also put her in the forefront of an emerging academic and artistic field that might touch us all even as it reminds us of the written word's occasional limits. An eclectic, interdisciplinary group from around the world descended upon Northwestern's medical and law schools last weekend for Comics & Medicine: The Sequential Art of Illness. Health care professionals, artists and humanities scholars discussed how comics could be used in medical education, patient care and scholarship.

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