Art of Medicine
Nov 2023

Rest Is the First Casualty of Constant Messaging

Kathleen Wong
AMA J Ethics. 2023;25(11):E841-842. doi: 10.1001/amajethics.2023.841.


This drawing considers how sources of patient demand are also sources of light pollution in a room in which a clinician tries, in vain, to rest.

Figure. Lit, Unread, Unrested



Hand drawn, colored on digital medium with iPad app Ibispaint X.



This comic considers intersections between patients’ internet-based access to their health and health care information and clinicians’ duties to respond to online prompts and messages from patients. For instance, instead of visiting in person, a patient might ask a question or raise a concern—even about potentially life-threatening conditions that might demand immediate attention—via health care organizations’ online messaging applications. Sources of light in the comic suggest this demand and its corresponding burden on clinicians.


AMA J Ethics. 2023;25(11):E841-842.



Conflict of Interest Disclosure

Author disclosed no conflicts of interest.

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