This spring, Dana Medical Library hosted a series of events and exhibits that explored the writing genre called “Graphic Medicine”. Graphic Medicine, coined by Dr. Ian Williams, is “the intersection of the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare”. Williams believes that graphic medicine can assist medical professionals by effectively relating patient or caregiver experience and playing a role in the discussion of difficult subject matters. It can be a means of healing from trauma.
Exhibit: Graphic Medicine as Medical Narrative
Currently on display in Dana’s exhibit cases, Graphic Medicine as Medical Narrative explores why this is an important medium of expression for authors and medical professionals alike. It looks at why graphic medicine is so effective with the use of comics and the combination of image and text to convey perspective. The exhibit also points out some great graphic medicine books to pick up, including a few written by acclaimed Vermont authors.
Courtesy of the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), Dana also hosted the traveling exhibition Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived & Well-Drawn!from March 4th to April 13th. Made up of 6 free-standing panels, “Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived & Well-Drawn! explores an increasingly popular, yet little-known literary field that presents personal stories of illness and health through the medium of comics. Showcasing items from the National Library of Medicine’s growing collection of graphic memoirs, the stories depict people’s experiences with an array of health issues, from breast cancer and deafness to mental illness and HIV/AIDS.” (This exhibition was produced by the US National Library of Medicine.)
Talk: Reclaiming Patient Narrative in Graphic Medicine
On April 4th, Dana presented A Conversation with Graphic Medicine Author Rachel Lindsay:Reclaiming Patient Narrative in Graphic Medicine. “Rachel Lindsay [discussed] the creation of her book Rx: A Graphic Memoir, which chronicles her experience advertising psychopharmaceuticals as a bipolar person, and subsequent involuntary hospitalization for mania. A powerful new voice in the mental health realm of the Graphic Medicine community, Lindsay has spoken about her work at Harvard Medical School, Columbia University, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the California Institute of Integral Studies, among others. Based in Burlington, she is also the cartoonist of Rachel Lives Here Now, which runs weekly in Seven Days.” (Lindsay)
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book chosen as UVM’s 2022 First-Year Read, is the foundation for this exhibit, which explores ‘health and well-being’ and equities and disparities of America’s black population. The exhibit peels back the layers to look at the social determinants of health in a society: economic factors, health behaviors, health care, education, and environment, and offers data that points to the socioeconomic disparities that black Americans face and the subsequent health disparities that arise.
A higher percentage of black Americans live below the poverty line, face higher unemployment rates, and lower life expectancies than whites. The exhibit points to the racial inequalities associated with specific diseases and conditions such as rising U.S. maternal mortality rates (black women are dying at a rate 4x higher than white women).
What causes these disparities? What are federal, state, and local health organizations doing to address these issues? Stop by the library and learn more! Exhibit will be on display until February 2019.
Dana Medical Library has a new exhibit up in its Main Hallway tackling the topic of Alzheimer’s Disease. This exhibit looks at what it is, why it occurs, and why it is considered a public health issue. Even now, researchers do not know everything about this disease though they understand that there is a correlation between the build-up of protein in and around brain cells and the disruption of transmission between cells. Memory loss is the direct effect of this disruption. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia (a general term for the decline in mental faculties) and is the slow decline of cognitive abilities affecting memory, thinking and behavior, mostly in older individuals.
The exhibit also looks at the research, initiatives, fundraising, and stories that have come to the forefront to combat and to reconcile this life-changing disease. From The Healthy Brain Initiativeto the Walk to End Alzheimer’s to The Longest Day fundraiser, people have recognized the need to shine a light on not just the on-going search for a cure, but the caregivers and family members who do the daily work of caring for their loved ones and family members. See the Alzheimer’s Association website for more information.
This exhibit concludes with a powerful story told in an emerging book genre: Graphic Medicine. Dana Walrath’s book, Aliceheimer’s: Alzheimer’s Through the Looking Glass, tells the story about caring for her mother, Alice Mashoian Walrath. The story is a circuitous, fluid journey between the present and the past, following the meanderings of Alice’s Alzheimer’s, from seeing her late husband up in a tree outside her daughter’s Vermont farmhouse to trips back to World War II and food rationing. Dana puts her anthropological expertise to work to help deal with her mom’s memory loss, time traveling, emotions, and sense of security. Dana’s voice in her writing is one of deep respect for her mother, and shows a strong desire to keep her mother’s dignity intact.
This summer and through September, the library has transformed its display cases into a Summer Reading Program for popular reading in Medicine and Science. We present books at the intersection of literature, humanities, medicine and science. This display, Medicine, Science and Literature: Reading for the Summer Months, examines a special book collection that strays away from the clinical. These literary works – fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, poetry, essays – can inspire and encourage health care professionals, and the greater public, to take a deeper look into life and to explore topics that are both age old and cutting edge.
Read a book and write a review about it, or tell us your thoughts in a quick survey about the summer reading exhibit. Participants are entered into a drawing for popular reading books! Here is how it works:
Peruse the current fiction and non-fiction that are on the table in Dana’s Main Hall and check out a book.
Write a short review or fill out a survey to be entered in the drawing.
Slip your review or survey into the box in Dana’s Main Hall the next time you are in the library. You will automatically be entered into a drawing for: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Into the Magic Shop by James Doty, or Lab Girl by Hope Jahren.
Don’t Worry! There is still plenty of time to read one of these best-selling books. The Program will be up until the end of September. The drawing will occur on October 3rd.
Here are the most popular titles: Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes; Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren; The Gene: An Intimate History, by Siddhartha Mukherjee; Into the Magic Shop, by James Doty; and The Gilded Razor, by Sam Lansky
Take a little break from your work and pick up a book today! Questions? Contact Kate Bright at 656-0695.
Hundreds of library patrons had an opportunity to learn about global health activities at UVM over the Spring semester. Kate Bright and librarian colleagues at the Dana Medical Library mounted an exhibit focused on global health initiatives with the enthusiastic help of faculty and students throughout the University.
Each of the four panels of the exhibit case highlighted a different global health project, and all panels rotated their displays midway through the semester. The College of Medicine Ebola mission to Liberia and the School of Nursing public health nursing programs in Uganda and Bangladesh opened the exhibit in January. These projects were closely followed by exhibit panels featuring global health research in Anthropology, Women’s Healthcare in Uganda and Tanzania, and Physical Therapy Down Under.
In addition, the exhibit provided the Library with a wonderful opportunity to display many of its new books on global health as well as to remind patrons of the availability of the Global Health database in its collection. The closing of the Library exhibit coincided quite nicely with a celebration of World Health Day on April 7, 2016.
Please check Dana’s website for the January to March segment of Thinking Locally, Acting Globally: Global Health at UVM. Questions? Please contact Kate Bright at 656-0695.
In May and June, The Dana Medical Library will host the National Library of Medicine Traveling Exhibition Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures and Medical Prescriptions.
Mind-altering drugs have been used throughout the history of America. While some remain socially acceptable, others are outlawed because of their toxic, and intoxicating, characteristics. These classifications have shifted at different times in history, and will continue to change. The transformation of a particular drug, from an acceptable indulgence to a bad habit, or vice versa, is closely tied to the intentions of those endorsing its use, and their status in society. This exhibition explores some of the factors that have shaped the changing definition of some of our most potent drugs, from medical miracle to social menace. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/pickyourpoison/exhibition-introduction.html
This exhibition was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health. For more information, contact Kate Bright at 656-0695.
As summer draws to a close, don’t forget about these engaging medicine and science-based books. Though Dana Medical Library’s summer reading display will be coming down in less than a week, many of these books will still be available in the main hall. For the month of September, you will find them, along with our summer reading list, on the cart around the corner from the display. And even when the cart disappears, remember that the books do not! They are still available to be checked out either at Dana or Bailey-Howe. Just simply refer to the list for suggestions.
Here are some highlights: Oliver Sacks’ newest book, On the Move, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire, and Abraham Verghese’ Cutting for Stone.
The Dana Medical Library is currently displaying two exhibits that honor multi-generation physician families in Vermont and Virginia. “Multi-Generation Vermont Physician Families: Graduates of the UVM College of Medicine” highlights the Bove, Irwin, Terrien, and Upton families and is on view until April. The Library would like to thank the College of Medicine Public Relations Office for their assistance in creating this exhibit.
“The Henkel Physicians: A Family’s Life in Letters,” is a traveling exhibition developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine. It is on view in the Library until March 5, 2014. The exhibit offers a glimpse into the daily lives of men of medicine in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley during the 19th Century. Several generations of fathers and sons studied medicine after the Henkel family settled in New Market, Virginia in 1790. More information regarding this traveling exhibit is available here.
Please visit the Library to view these exhibits honoring Vermont and Virginia multi-generation physician families.