This article is written by Dr Cai Ying Ng, on behalf of CoMICs (which stands for Concise Medical Information Cines). CoMICs is run by a group of junior doctors, namely Dr Punith Kempegowda, Dr Meri Davitadze, Dr Nia Evans, Dwi Delson, Emma Ooi, Emily Warmington, Dania Shabbir, Simran Piya, Yap Soon Chee and Seunghee Han.
CoMICs is a bite-sized information resource of easily understandable infographics (comic style videos), for doctors, on various complex diseases and conditions. These videos are made by medical students and junior doctors with the intention to ease comprehension, where the amount of knowledge given is sufficient for healthcare personnel to understand enough about a condition, in less than 5 minutes viewing time, to potentially be able to treat it more effectively. Each CoMIC video depicts a specific medical condition starting from its presentation and investigations to step by step management and follow-up options.
The topics of CoMIC videos are inspired by real-life patient cases simulated in the SIMBA sessions. SIMBA is a real-time simulation based medical training programme using WhatsApp®. Once the topic is decided, the SIMBA team prepares a storyboard based on national and international treatment guidelines which have been created and approved by recognised experts in each field. These storyboards are then converted into video by our CoMICs team. These preliminary videos are then sent to early career researchers (ECRs) and experts in relevant fields of medicine, to check the accuracy of scientific content in these videos.
Thus far, we have collaborated with 56 reviewers from over 15 countries across the world! The finalised videos are posted on our YouTube channel, Twitter (@SimbaComics), Instagram (simba.comics), and Facebook every Wednesday, as part of the #CoMICWednesday initiative.
With more of our videos being enjoyed worldwide, many more medical students have come forward with the intention to be a part of this innovative project. By joining the CoMICs team, they enhance their medical knowledge and develop a new skill set which are usually not incorporated into regular medical school curricula, such as leadership, teamwork, collaboration and liaison with medical experts.
In the first six months, our YouTube channel had 139 subscribers and a collected time of 396 hours of views and the numbers are going up all the time. Many medical societies and patient support groups such as Society for Endocrinology, British Thyroid Foundation, and Addison’s Disease Self Help Group have endorsed CoMICs, garning us a wider population of viewers to an even broader reach.
Recently, we have initiated a new series of CoMICs in collaboration with Addison’s Disease Self Help Group. The targeted audience for this series will be patients and their carers to help them learn more about Addison’s disease, identify symptoms, and different types of treatment offered for the condition. In the future, we plan on doing more such collaboration to increase awareness among the public on various medical conditions and decrease the social stigma around them.
What makes us passionate and drives us to continue producing content is the well-received acknowledgement from healthcare personnel. We are glad to have an opportunity to contribute to medical education during this COVID-19 pandemic, serving as an innovative online learning tool to anyone around the world interested in knowing more about medical conditions.
Watch the CoMICs video on T3/T4 combination treatment for hypothyroidism
This blog is by members of Thyroid Trust Friends Network who have signed up to our Ground Rules and blogging guidelines. Please get in touch if you'd like to write something for possible publication on our site.