Using Comics to Reflect on the Complexities of Being a Surgeon

Today, I welcome Mary Kay Czerwiec—Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine—onto The SurgeonMasters Podcast.

After graduating from Loyola University of Chicago with a BA in English, MK went on to receive a BSN in Nursing from Rush University, and an MA from Northwestern in Medical Humanities and Bioethics. In addition to her clinical nursing experience in AIDS care and hospice care, MK also creates comics under the pseudonym Comic Nurse (, and runs a website with UK physician Ian Williams:, devoted to the intersection of comics and health. She is co-author of the Eisner Award nominated Graphic Medicine Manifesto (Penn State University Press 2015), and her first graphic memoir, Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, will be available in March 2017, also courtesy of Penn State University Press.

Listen as MK and I discuss a range of topics, including:

  • How MK teaches medical student how to deal with the stress of the medical profession

  • Using drawing as a reflective tool to organize one’s thoughts

  • The power of getting outside yourself as a caregiver

  • How comics can be used to tell important health stories

  • And more…