“Humor and honesty leap off the pages of this addictive read. A binge-worthy romance with a hilarious and relatable heroine that will steal your heart from the first sentence.” — Jane Igharo, author of Ties That Tether

Shirlene Obuobi is a Ghanaian-American physician, cartoonist, and author who grew up in Chicago, Illinois, Hot Springs, Arkansas and The Woodlands, Texas.

Born in Ghana, Obuobi came with her family to the United States when she was 6 years old and attended Washington University, St. Louis, MO, for undergrad. She has always had a passion for creating and is a self-taught artist and writer. Obuobi was drawn to the field of medicine, and specifically cardiology, because of the connection she could have with patients and their families.

Her comics, which have focused on the challenges of being a Ghanaian-American woman in medicine and the challenges of medical school, have gained nearly 38,000 followers on her Instagram account. Her comics have been featured in UChicago Medicine, Proto Magazine and the Medical University of Vienna’s Art, Action, Attitude/Body exhibit.

When she’s not in the hospital (and let’s be honest, even when she’s in it), she can be found drawing comics, writing on her phone, and obsessing over her three cats. She currently lives in Chicago, where she is completing her cardiology fellowship. Her debut novel, On Rotation, has been featured on national outlets such as Teen Vogue, the Washington Post, and Good Morning America. Her next novel, Between Friends & Lovers (July 2024) is a story of love and friendship in the age of social media—where what you see might not be all you get.

Shirlene's Featured Titles

Between Friends & Lovers

Avon |

Talia Hibbert meets Carley Fortune in this swoon-worthy story of love and friendship in the age of social media—where what you see might not be all you get. 

To her countless Instagram followers Josephine Boateng is the dazzling Dr. Jojo—and her opinions on health, growth, and self-love matter. Her message: be smart (she has a medical degree after all), be significant, and do not put up with foolish men.

But behind the camera, Jo’s story is more complicated—she finds her influencer career underwhelming; her potential career in medicine overwhelming, and she’s hung up on her best friend, nepo-baby and romcom heartthrob Ezra Adelman. When Ezra shows up to his thirtieth birthday party with her childhood bully on his arm, however, Josephine realizes that it’s time to take her own advice and prioritize herself for once.

No one is more shocked than Malcolm Waters when his debut novel turns him into a critic’s darling. When he’s invited to a swanky penthouse party to discuss turning his book into a film, he knows rubbing elbows with the elites of entertainment will be great for his career. The only problem: he’s not good with people, and even worse at networking.

Just when he’s about to throw in the towel, he’s rescued by none other than Dr. Jojo. He’s been following her on social media for years, and she’s even more impressive in real life. And to his bewilderment, the feeling is mutual.

But in a world where the lines between private and public are as blurred as those between friendship and love, can they risk it all for something real?

On Rotation: A Novel

Avon |



“As a fan of Grey’s Anatomy (and Chicago Med!), I couldn’t put down On Rotation, and you won’t be able to, either. Shirlene Obuobi makes you feel as if you’re actually right there with the lovable Angie, and I personally couldn’t get enough.”—Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author

For fans of Grey’s Anatomy and Seven Days in June, this dazzling debut novel by Shirlene Obuobi explores that time in your life when you must decide what you want, how to get it, & who you are, all while navigating love, friendship, and the realization that the path you’re traveling is going to be a bumpy ride.

Ghanaian-American Angela Appiah has checked off all the boxes for the “Perfect Immigrant Daughter.”

  • Enroll in an elite medical school
  • Snag a suitable lawyer/doctor/engineer boyfriend
  • Surround self with a gaggle of successful and/or loyal friends

But then it quickly all falls apart: her boyfriend dumps her, she bombs the most important exam of her medical career, and her best friend pulls away. And her parents, whose approval seems to hinge on how closely she follows the path they chose, are a lot less proud of their daughter. It’s a quarter life crisis of epic proportions.

Angie, who has always faced her problems by working “twice as hard to get half as far,” is at a loss. Suddenly, she begins to question everything: her career choice, her friendships, even why she’s attracted to men who don’t love her as much as she loves them.

And just when things couldn’t get more complicated, enter Ricky Gutierrez—brilliant, thoughtful, sexy, and most importantly, seems to see Angie for who she is instead of what she can represent.

Unfortunately, he’s also got “wasteman” practically tattooed across his forehead, and Angie’s done chasing mirages of men. Or so she thinks. For someone who’s always been in control, Angie realizes that there’s one thing she can’t plan on: matters of her heart.


Narrative Medicine and Identity

Shirlene will discuss the role of narratives in medicine, and how understanding patient narratives can improve patient care and commitment to the path.


Comics as a Tool for Self Reflection and Advocacy

Shirlene describes comics as an art form and the ways they can be utilized for persuasion, advocacy, and commentary.


School Visits

Shirlene discusses her path to medicine.

Shirlene’s FAQ

Shirlene’s Patreon

Shirlene’s Hometown Bookstore | Order Signed Copies

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Marie Claire Book Club Pick
Teen Vogue | 25 Books by Black Authors We Can’t Wait to Read This Year
Betches | 22 Books You Need to Read This Year

Comics Featured In
UChicago Medicine
Proto Magazine
Medical University of Vienna’s Art, Action, Attitude/Body exhibit.

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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