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Doc ApprovED: Turning the Work of Medical Learning into Play

Mohseni, Alex, MD

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000542266.17498.d0
Doc ApprovED

Dr. Mohseniis an emergency physician in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. He is the editor of his own blog, Follow him on Twitter @amohseni, and read his past columns at



I recently discovered a gem of a website,, a compendium of fabulously creative games, posters, and books based on a common theme of making medicine fun and interesting to learn. This is for the gamers, nerds, and creative types among us.

Nerdcore Medical began as a collaboration between two friends in medical school, Arun Mathews, MBBCh, and Francis Kong, MD. Combining their love of fantasy art with the need to learn about infectious disease, they designed a card game called “Healing Blade: Defenders of Soma,” a battle between infectious bacteria and antibiotics. Brandon Patton, a game designer, joined the team in 2012, and they raised almost $100,000 on Kickstarter. They have since created more games and a poster line of medical infographics called Curative Design. They are currently collaborating with medical students and doctors who love games to develop more educational games about medicine, and have a book about the Curative Design project coming out next year.

You can buy “Healing Blade” and “Paramedics: Clear!” a game that captures the time pressure and intensity of EMS and the ED in a well-designed board game, through Nerdcore Medical's website. But visit the website even if you don't intend to buy to see their gorgeous medical posters, some of which have been designed by Eleanor Lutz, a doctoral student in biology and an award-winning graphic designer in Seattle who specializes in scientific infographics. You can also explore Ms. Lutz's incredible design work on her blog,

From Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian man to Nerdcore Medical and Eleanor Lutz, art has always played an important role in medicine. Take a moment to explore and engage your brain orthogonally.

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