The images of doctors found in comics can be comforting, such as the authoritative and compassionate "Rex Morgan, M.D.," or bizarre, as in the case of Marvel Comics character Dr. Strange, a neurosurgeon turned sorcerer.
Their depiction in comics has progressed from slapstick portrayals in the early 20th century to comics that present more realistic representations of them and of the ethical questions they face. Associate Professor Carol Tilley wrote about the representations of doctors and medical practice in comic strips, comic books and graphic novels in the February issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics. The issue was devoted to the topic of graphic medicine.
An increasing number of comics today deal with subjects such as chronic illnesses and patient experiences, as well as education about medical issues, said Tilley, a comics historian and scholar who served as a judge for the Eisner Comic Industry Awards in 2016.
"The way comics have portrayed doctors has...