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Lunch & Learn: Graphic Medicine and Gender-Fluidity

october, 2019

28oct12:00 pm1:00 pmLunch & Learn: Graphic Medicine and Gender-Fluidity

Graphic Medicine Exhibit Flyer


Event Details

Lunch & Learn: Graphic Medicine and Gender-Fluidity

Noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28

Graphic Medicine and Gender-fluidity: How narratives of gender non-conforming individuals in print media can be used to better prepare student doctors to treat LGBT, non-binary, and DSD patients.

Medicine has not historically been kind to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. While homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973, the social stigma and discrimination still faced by LGBT people leads to health disparities that put them at higher risk for certain conditions. People within the LGBT community are much more likely to succeed at committing suicide, they’re more likely to have eating disorders, more likely to have certain kinds of cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. And while there is less information about the exact disparities faced by intersex individuals, most aspects of our society, including medicine, tend to operate on a gender binary. Medicine is still dominated by social constructs that are based in heteronormativity and that is often harmful to patients that don’t fit into those standards.

Narratives that reflect unique patient preferences regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression can aid physicians’ understanding of and comfort with those of marginalized populations. As such, I posit that many forms of graphic novels, in its capacity for renegotiating and redefining sex, gender, and sexuality, can be a powerful tool, improving understanding of queer culture for those who are unexperienced with it. This media can help normalize LGBT patients and their specific needs. Using books like The Boy was a Bride, the Wandering Son series, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness and My Brother’s Husband, medical school curriculum can begin to abolish outdated assumptions about sexuality and apply equity to patient-centered care. *Lunch will be provided to the first 50 participants.

Speaker: Jenifer A. Fisher, MLIS

Jenifer has loved reading comic books since she was a little girl. Like many young readers, she was first exposed to the media in the form of superhero comic books, and that was her introduction to how art can be used as voice for social issues. From the X-Men who are outliers of normal society to Batman’s Rogue Gallery, this art form has a longstanding history of speaking to readers about mental illness. And while these stories sometimes lack the accurate portrayal of diseases and disorders, they are often able to effectively humanize the struggles of those experiencing mental illness. Years later, Ms. Fisher is still fascinated by the power of comics.

Now, as a medical librarian, part of Ms. Fisher’s job is to instruct student doctors on the importance of remembering patient preferences when making decisions. She has observed how graphic novels can support students as they learn this valuable lesson. Coupled with her personal history, she is a strong advocate for spreading the benefit of graphic novels to new and diverse populations.

For more information on this and other exhibit-related programs,
please call: (575)674-2347 or go to:


(Monday) 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

3501 Arrowhead Dr.

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