“Spanish Doctor Combines Passion for Drawing and Medicine”
Dr. Mónica Lalanda has always been drawn to the world of art and illustration. From doodling in her school books to making caricatures of her teachers, drawing has been a fundamental part of her life. This passion for drawing has now become an integral part of her identity as a doctor and has revolutionized her approach to healthcare.
After working as a healthcare doctor in England and Spain, Dr. Lalanda’s life took a new direction in 2014 when she discovered Graphic Medicine, a website that explored the relationship between comics and the story of disease. This discovery prompted her to start using her artistic talent to create comics, cartoons, infographics, and illustrations as communication tools in the healthcare environment.
Dr. Lalanda’s work aims to translate complex medical concepts and ethics into friendly, simple, and easy-to-understand illustrations for both patients and healthcare professionals. Through her drawings, she addresses a variety of themes and advocates for better communication, empathy among professionals, and improved job conditions for healthcare workers.
One of her favorite series of drawings depicts the challenge of the “Hispanic conspiracy of silence,” where family members and healthcare professionals conceal a patient’s diagnosis without their consent. Another notable drawing that gained widespread attention depicted a patient’s dignity and the need for better healthcare practices.
Her achievements as a freelance vignette artist include the publication of two projects: “Medical Awareness,” a comic book that translates the ethical code of Spanish doctors into the language of comics; and “Being a Doctor,” a deck of cards containing advice for medical students.
Dr. Lalanda’s dedication to Graphic Medicine has led to significant organizational achievements as well. In 2017, she founded the Spanish Society of Graphic Medicine and became the director of the Master’s Degree in Graphic Medicine at the University International of Andalusia, Spain.
Despite her success, Dr. Lalanda admits that there are challenges in mixing medicine and illustration. She faces prejudices about the perceived unseriousness of drawing and comics, as well as the need to ensure that her drawings are backed by scientific rigor.
Despite these challenges, Dr. Lalanda is inspired by cartoonists such as Quino and Forges and hopes to encourage other health professionals to explore the immense possibilities of using illustration in the medical field.
Dr. Mónica Lalanda’s journey as a doctor and vignette artist has transformed the way she practices medicine and has opened up new avenues for communication and advocacy in the healthcare sector. She invites everyone to explore the world of graphic medicine and consider the impact of visual storytelling on healthcare.