Paper: Program Description Abstract
Using Comics to Discuss the Geriatric Clerkship Experience
Sunday, May 5
3:05 PM - 3:20 PM
Room: Columbus EF (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)
Assistant University Librarian
University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries
Background : Graphic medicine—the intersection of comics and healthcare—offers many examples of memoirs that explore aging and palliative care. Roz Chast’s “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” offers a deeply personal, biographical account of one’s aging parents at the end of life. Reading and discussing a comic about the caregiver perspective of elder care gives medical students a space to discuss their own experiences working with geriatric patients. A clinician and a librarian collaborated to develop a two-hour book club for the end of the geriatric clerkship that medical students participate in during their fourth year.
Description : The Geriatrics Clerkship Program Director had previous experience with medical humanities; the liaison librarian to the Geriatrics department had recently taught the same graphic memoir to honors undergraduate students. They compiled an introduction to graphic medicine and a series of discussion questions and began leading a book club at the end of the geriatrics clerkship. The book club helps introduce students to healthcare concepts including discussion of costs of care with aging, caregiver burnout, hospital quality and customer service, dementia care, and palliative care. This presentation will discuss ways to introduce students to unfamiliar reading formats such as comic books, exercises and questions used to inspire students to share their experiences, the challenges and opportunities found in developing a medical humanities interlude built around a graphic novel at the end of the geriatric clerkship, and student responses to the exercise.
Conclusion : While the initial responses from the students to the program has been positive, evaluation forms will allow for deeper analysis of whether students feel the book club discussions and graphic novel format of the materials is useful as a means for addressing difficult topics and sharing their own experiences in the geriatric clerkship.