LITFL Book Review: Graphic Guide to Infectious Disease
The latest collaboration between an emergency physician (Brian Kloss) and a graphic artist (Travis Bruce), the book to be published in 2019 is an easy to digest quick-reference guide to common infectious diseases. Drawing on a comic cast including cameos from ZDoggMD, a version of Mike Cadogan you can play knifey-spoony with… and Motezuma himself.
The book illustrates symptoms, risk-factors and throws shade at restaurant chains (past and present) associated with each infection
Kloss and Bruce have lived up to their hope of creating a book that is “real medical education with comic book-style illustrations to create beautiful artistic images that enhance learning”. Presented over two-page spreads it discusses each infection in an easy to digest fact-sheet-style summary, with a comic book-style illustration of symptoms, risk-factors, and interesting facts on the next page.
At first appearance this book appears to be light-hearted medical satire, or a book aimed at a younger audience, but it is in fact a fantastic reference guide to infectious diseases, summarizing the salient points of each infection in an easy to assimilate format.
Chapters: Graphic Guide to Infectious Disease
- Viral Hepatitis
- Infectious Diarrhea
- Childhood Illnesses
- Tick-Borne Illnesses
- Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Mosquito-Borne Illnesses
- Rat-, Flea-, Louse-, and Chigger-Borne Illnesses
- Oropharyngeal Infections
- Parasites and Prions
What I liked
- Easy to follow book, great summary of the relevant clinical features of each infection.
- Cartoons were comical with depictions of bodily fluids reminiscent of Ren and Stimpy.
- Presents symptoms described in text with a comical presentation.
- Acknowledges the development of new treatments to hepatitis C and emerging resistance, encouraging doctors to check more up-to-date sources.
Things to consider
Various sections were written by different authors and some sections suffer from inconsistent terminology (PCR, polymerase chain reaction and nucleic-acid amplification for instance).
- A fantastic reference guide to infectious diseases for visual learners. It covers a wide breadth of infectious diseases in an entertaining and informative manner.
- The book acknowledges fast-changing nature of treatment for several conditions (whether due to technological change, or emerging resistance) and encourages doctors to check the current state of play.
- Reading Kloss’ and Bruce’s work was a fantastic re-fresher in clinical infectious diseases.
- The comical delivery style makes it an engaging learning-resource for students, and the cartoons are excellent lecture slide fodder (when covered by fair use clauses or the express written consent of the authors).
- More LITFL Book Reviews
- LITFL posts by Brian Kloss, MD
- Website: Kloss and Bruce: Medical Education and Illustration
- Twitter: @EM_Pearls
- Book: Graphic Guide to Infectious Disease
- Book: Toxicology in a Box
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