Widely apprehended as a pressing problem that threatens to undermine the accomplishments of modern medical science, the psychosomatic and emotional enervation in medical trainees and physicians is at last gaining critical attention. The majority of health research studies confirm that medical interns are burdened with stress and overwork, suffer duress, and are often exploited by senior doctors. In spite of major reforms in medical schooling, many significant surveys as well as self-reflective accounts of medical trainees underscore the ongoing prevalence of trainees' victimization. While expecting an objective approach, ultra-precise logic, and unerring work ethic, the extant medical system often fails to acknowledge the impedances, stress, and unhealthy transformations of interns in the process of becoming a doctor. Under the auspices of "professionalism," the personal and experiential realities of medical interns are seldom investigated. Drawing insights from Atul Gawande, Sandeep Jauhar, and others, this essay seeks to close read graphic medical intern narratives in Michael J. Green's Missed It and Betty P. and Ashley L. Pistorio's Vita Perseverat to map the emotional, psychosomatic, and moral geographies of medical interns/trainees against the backdrop of bureaucratized centers of professional care. Although these graphic medical narratives are personal stories and nonfictional, introspective accounts (as opposed to pedagogic records or official documents), they are nonetheless mediated aesthetic representations that meld socio-cultural and institutional power relations with life stories. Furthermore, the article also investigates how the medium of comics facilitates the visualization and articulation of the concerns that medical interns might encounter or develop during internship. In so doing, the essay not only brings into relief the complexities of intern experience but also underscores the cultural role of graphic medicine as a critique of the medical profession.


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pp. 186-204
Launched on MUSE
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