Medical illustration is a very large, varying field of work. A medical illustrator can be involved in many different specialties. Photographers and videographers are needed to produce visual records of a patient's medical history, which can be used for education or research. They may be needed to photograph or film patients’ specific ailments, undertake specialized forms of photography like 3D or internal imaging, specialize in bereavement or forensic imaging, or record images for publicity materials. They are also responsible for the editing of these images or films, using computer software. Alternatively, graphic designers and traditional artists create things like posters and pamphlets, visual lecture materials, corporate publications, or websites that can also be used in patient care, education, or medical research. Because of this wide variety of needs, a medical illustrator can find themselves employed at a hospital, a medical school, or a specialty publisher.
A medical illustrator must be not only technically skilled in their art form, but also must have a great understanding of anatomy. It is very important in this profession to have a formal education in a relevant field, such as medical illustration, clinical photography, photography, or graphic design. People pursuing these degrees are entitled to membership with the Institute of Medical Illustration, which will greatly increase job opportunities. Medical illustrators must exhibit creative talent, a genuine interest in the scientific aspects of their job, sensitivity, the ability to interact well with patients, and great attention to detail.
Medical Illustrator Tasks
May create artwork for posters, publications, lecture materials or websites.
May operate 3-D imaging or specialist cameras that function inside the body.
Photograph, record, illustrate, and process visual records of patients' conditions, surgical procedures, treatments, or anatomy.
Obtain consents from patients.