Go to University of Chicago Medicine Home


Brian Callender, MD

Brian Callender, MD

2022 Senior Faculty Scholars

Dr. Brian Callender is an adult hospitalist in the section of Hospital Medicine and an Associate Professor of Medicine. He attended the Pritzker School of Medicine and continued at the University of Chicago for his residency training in internal medicine. He is a graduate of the Medical Education Research Innovation Teaching and Scholarship (MERITS) fellowship and the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics fellowship.

An academic hospitalist, Dr. Callender is interested in how the health humanities can improve the patient experience, provider-patient relationships, and our understanding of the illness experience and the practice of medicine. These interests have led to the development of a number of courses that explore the phenomenology of illness and the visual culture of medicine including: The Body in Medicine and the Performing Arts; The Narratives and Aesthetics of Contagion: Knowledge Formation and the COVID-19 Pandemic; Graphic Medicine: Comics Creation as Knowledge Formation; Graphic Medicine: Concepts and Practice; The Art of Healing: Medical Aesthetics in Russia and the US; Death Panels: Exploring Dying and Death Through Comics; and [Re]Framing Graphic Medicine: Comics and the History of Medicine

His interest in the visual culture of medicine has resulted in the co-curation of several exhibitions at the University Library’s Special Collections Research Center: Imaging and Imagining: The Human Body in Anatomical Representation (2014); The Fetus In Utero: From Mystery to Social Media (2019); [Re]Framing Graphic Medicine: Comics and the History of Medicine (2022)

Dr. Callender is particularly interested in the field of graphic medicine, defined as the intersection of comics, health, and medicine. These interests include teaching graphic medicine courses, using comics in patient education and science communication, conducting workshops on comics-making for patients and providers, and researching the historical and contemporary uses of comics within healthcare. He is a co-editor of the Graphic Medicine Series at the Penn State University Press and was co-chair of the 2022 Graphic Medicine conference held at the University of Chicago.