Katie McCurdy
Apr 17, 2018 · 3 min read

For a many years I have created sketches and diagrams to show my doctors how I am feeling and what has happened. (See references and links at the end of this post.) This has helped improve our communication by structuring our conversation around a visual artifact and providing them with a visual and verbal version of my story, the combination of which helps them better absorb what I am saying. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits is that I have been able to ‘see’ what is happening with me, which increases my own self-understanding and helps reduce anxiety.

Here are a number of drawings I took to an endocrinology appointment last year.

Recently I have begun helping others through the process of visualizing their own health history, and I have been witnessing the great benefits this has brought to them.

Now I would like to share a set of worksheets in case they might help you or someone you know. (I have used them extensively myself.) This PDF includes a basic timeline, a body outline, and some symptom shapes you can cut out and use if you’d like. I am calling this Pictal. I would love it if you sent me feedback or suggestions for improvement!

View the Pictal worksheets


Here are some more examples from my own life:

I drew a timeline on the back of this one — this is when I was having severe heart palpitations due to a supplement I was taking.

More info

Here is a “body” of work about how I have visualized my health information and helped others do the same. Perhaps it will spark an idea in your brain.

Pictal Health

Turning health histories into visual stories

Katie McCurdy

Written by

Designer and researcher focusing on healthcare; founder of Pictal Health; autoimmune patient; chocolate-eater. katiemccurdy.com and pictalhealth.com

Pictal Health

Turning health histories into visual stories

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