The Bad Doctor

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By Ian Williams

Meet Dr. Iwan James: cyclist, doctor, would-be lover, former heavy metal fan, and, above all, human being. Weighed down by his responsibilities—from diagnosing personality disorders to deciding who can hold a gun license—he doubts his ability to make decisions about the lives of others when he may need more than a little help himself. Cartoonist and doctor Ian Williams introduces us to Iwan’s troubled life as all humanity, it seems, passes through his surgery doors.

224 pages.

“An unusually affecting little story, and a pioneering one at that. . . . as subtle and thought provoking as the best of them.”

“Ian Williams is the best thing to happen to medicine since penicillin.”

“Skillfully told, relentlessly honest, often funny, and painfully true . . . this is courageous work. It undercuts the accepted nonsense that doctors are—or should be expected to be—seraphic beings, exalted above the rest of humanity. It should be read by every student and practicing professional out there, and in the larger world as well.”

“This unputdownable graphic novel, like all great literature, makes you feel slightly less alone... It shows us—through good observation and by being funny—how the ordinary is extraordinary.”

“Gentle, thoughtful, humorous, and with a real light touch.”

“Amazing. . . . Crafted with a consistent wit in which the cartoon narrator spares himself no less than his patients. This profoundly honest doctor pursues his humanitarian mission while exorcising personal demons. Ian Williams gives us a dose of insight and laughter that is germane not only to the comics medium but also to medicine itself.”

“This serious yet sometimes puckish slice-of-life drama makes the ‘revered physician’ into an everyman who evokes sympathy from readers, doctors or not.”

“A very human portrait... touching on themes such as ‘difficult patients,’ physician burnout, mental illness, medical bureaucracy, and personal and professional clashes among doctors.” —Jessica Bylander, Health Affairs

Ian Williams is a visual artist and illustrator, a medical doctor, and an independent humanities scholar. He founded the website GraphicMedicine.org and is co-editor of the Graphic Medicine series published by Penn State Press.