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New exhibition of medical satire opens and could feature your artwork

‘A taste of one’s own medicine; medical satire at the Royal College of Physicians’ opened on 3 May at the RCP in Regent’s Park, London.

The public exhibition explores the ridiculed and reviled in the RCP’s satirical print collection, and allows visitors to discover the complex social, political and historical stories contained within the images.

Medical professionals in the past were represented by satirical artists, publishers and printmakers in a variety of uncomplimentary ways: as ignorant charlatans, suave society figures and money-grubbing hacks. But we don’t get to see how doctors viewed themselves, or if public perceptions of them matched the stereotypes we see in the historical prints. How would you represent the medical profession in cartoon form?

We have launched a competition, running alongside the exhibition, in which we invite you to create an artwork, in any way you like, to show your view of the medical profession – and be in with a chance of having your artwork appear in the exhibition!

Your artwork should:

  • be a cartoon
  • feature at least one person (this could be an individual, a role, a stereotype – let your imagination loose!).


The top five winning entries will:

  • be displayed in the exhibition at RCP at Regent’s Park, London, from September 2022
  • be invited to our September Museum Late for the reveal of their artworks
  • win an RCP merchandise bundle. 

All winning and shortlisted entries will:

  • feature in our online exhibition from September 2022
  • win the opportunity to attend an exclusive curator tour of ‘A taste of one’s own medicine’.

The competition will be judged by a panel with expertise in medicine, satirical images and print history, including the RCP’s academic vice president Professor Ramesh Arasaradnam. Read more information and enter.

Executive director for communications, policy and research Claire Burroughs said: ‘“A taste of one’s own medicine” is a fascinating reveal of some of the lesser-known items in the RCP’s 500-year collection, in the shape of satirical images of doctors and their world.

‘Listening to both our curator Lowri and Amanda-Jane Doran, former curator of the Punch archive, at the launch event last week, I was struck by the brilliance of cartoons as a light-hearted yet cutting medium for social and political commentary. From the early days of Punch to the biting front covers of Private Eye today, satirical images capture a time and place in the most powerful way. Do go browse!’

‘A taste of one’s own medicine’ is open until 2 December and you can visit in person or online. A series of hybrid events, generously supported by the Art Fund, will be running throughout the year and will include talks, workshops, and an evening of drama performances. A recording of Amanda-Jane Doran’s talk ‘The Art of Laughter: the development of caricature and satirical drawing in Britain’ will be available online soon.