Art of Medicine
Jul 2020

Game-Based Medicine

Abey Kozhimannil Thomas, MD
AMA J Ethics. 2020;22(7):E636-638. doi: 10.1001/amajethics.2020.636.


This illustration is a humorous take on experts' disagreement about the care of a patient. Breaking the deadlock requires much effort, and a focus on the patient can restore common ground. Patients should always be the center of our care universe.  

Figure. Team-Centric Care?



Sketched on Paper for iPad and finished using Corel Paintshop.



Despite advances in diagnostic capability, best next steps are not always clear, and clinician-experts don’t always agree about the course a patient’s care should take. When deadlocked, specialists aren’t always all that helpful to a patient and her primary care clinician. Breaking deadlock in a way that’s professional, collegial, and keeps a patient’s well-being as a goal held in common requires much effort. This comic offers a foil to our expectation that clinician-experts resolve disagreements using reason and evidence and reminds us that patients should always be the center of our care universe.


AMA J Ethics. 2020;22(7):E636-638.



Conflict of Interest Disclosure

The author(s) had no conflicts of interest to disclose.

The viewpoints expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.