Students' zombie comics channel the horrors of med school
Originally published on April 14, 2018
A sleep-deprived zombie staggers through the blank walls of a hospital.
"Comics free students to express themselves in ways they can't otherwise," said Dr. Michael Green, a doctor and bioethicist, who teaches the course.
Horror is a rich world of metaphor, Green toldWhite Coat, Black Arthost, Dr. Brian Goldman.
Zombie imagery reflects the students' fears and anxieties in the often ruthless medical environment. Students say they feel like zombies: exhausted, mistreated and stripped of human emotions by the demands of their education.
"They're funny images with a little bit of a truth to it or maybe, more than a little bit of a truth," Green said.
In it, they describe how the students see themselves evolving into zombie-like creatures. "In their comics, students pick up on the theme from zombie fiction, frequently referencing the dark epiphanic moments in their training when they realize their detached medical gaze causes them to regard patients as faceless, biological entities stripped of personhood."
"When I recently asked a group of 24 graduating students how many would elect to attend medical school over again, only a single hand was raised. Students spoke honestly about how the last four years had broken them down."