A former Southampton medical student is putting her artistic skills and medical expertise together to help children and their families understand Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Disorder (PIMS).

PIMS is a new condition that happens weeks after someone has had the virus that causes coronavirus (COVID-19). It causes inflammation (swelling) throughout the body which is one way your immune system fights off infection, injury and disease.

During her Foundation Year One rotation at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Dr Charlotte Woodward created a child-friendly leaflet, to help young patients understand more about their illness. Charlotte tells Medically Speaking about the process.

Charlotte Woodward

“During my Paediatrics rotation at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, I was involved in creating an illustrated child-friendly patient information leaflet on PIMS.

“As it’s such a new condition, lots of children and their families understandably have questions. Listening to lots of medical information can be hard and a bit daunting for children.

“I was able to combine my medical knowledge with the digital illustration skills I developed whilst at the University of Southampton. The patient information leaflet has easy to read language and pictures to help tell a story of the hospital journey of a patient with PIMS and answer some of the questions they may have.

“My medical illustration work began during my time at Southampton. I was a creator for Soton Brain Hub, a multi-media neuroanatomy teaching platform created by Dr Scott Border.

“I have always been a keen artist and wanted to venture into the medical illustration world. During my time at Southampton, I collaborated with Dr Scott Border, other medical students, and alumni of Southampton for Soton Brain Hub, to create neurology and neuroanatomy themed medical illustrations using the App ‘Procreate’ and the iPad Pro.

“These were incorporated into educational YouTube videos and Instagram posts with accompanying clinical summaries, which have now been seen by people around the world.

“I think the culture at the University of Southampton is one that really celebrates having interests outside of medicine and encourages keeping these up whilst at medical school. Being part of the Soton Brain Hub was one of the highlights of my time at Southampton and given me the skills and confidence to create the PIMS patient information leaflet, which is now being distributed to children with PIMS across the North West of England.

“I plan to continue building my medical illustration portfolio alongside my career in medicine and have since been commissioned for a further Paediatrics based design project.”

One of Charlottes illustrations she did for the Soton Brain Hub

You can follow Soton Brain Hub on Instagram @soton_brain_hub and check out Charlotte’s medical illustration portfolio at www.behance.net/charlottewoodward.

Bringing artistic skills and medical expertise together

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