Medical Illustrators and Photographers

Medical illustrators work in a specialized area of technical illustration. These illustrators are concerned with representing human anatomy and processes, as well as other biological information. Their work is found in medical textbooks, magazines and journals, advertisements for medical products, instructional films and videos, television programs, exhibits, lectures and presentations, and computer-assisted learning programs. Some medical illustrators create three-dimensional physical models, such as anatomical teaching models, models used for teaching medical procedures, and also prosthetics.

The role of the medical illustrator is to aid in making medical and biological information, procedures, and techniques more understandable. They combine knowledge of biology and anatomy with strong artistic and graphic skills.

Medical illustrators generally work with physicians, surgeons, biologists, and other scientists. When detailing a surgical procedure, they may observe the surgeon during surgery and ask them for advice about which parts of an operation to illustrate. Medical illustrators draw parts of the body, such as the eye, the skeletal structure, or the structure of a cell, for books, encyclopedias, medical product brochures, and related literature. They may illustrate the work of researchers, depicting research on new organisms or drugs. They may also assist in developing sophisticated computer simulations that allow physicians in training to "perform" a surgical procedure entirely on a computer before they are skilled enough to operate on actual patients.

A medical illustrator may work in a wide range of medical and biological areas or specialize in a particular area, such as cellular structure, disease, or the heart. Much of their work is done with computers; however, they must still have strong skills in traditional drawing and drafting techniques.

Medical photographers work in a specialized area of technical photography. They are concerned with representing human anatomy and processes, as well as other biological information. Their work is found in medical textbooks, magazines and journals, advertisements for medical products, instructional films, DVDs, and videos, television programs, exhibits, lectures and presentations, and computer-assisted learning programs. Some medical photographs are used to create prosthetics and three-dimensional physical models, such as those used for teaching medical procedures.

The role of the medical photographer is to aid in making medical and biological information, procedures, and techniques more understandable. They combine knowledge of biology and anatomy with strong artistic skills.

Medical photographers generally work with physicians, surgeons, biologists, and other scientists. When shooting a surgical procedure, they may observe the surgeon during surgery and ask them for advice about which parts of an operation to capture. Medical photographers shoot parts of the body, such as the eye, the skeletal structure, or the structure of a cell, for books, encyclopedias, medical product brochures, and related literature. They may also shoot the work of researchers, depicting research on new organisms or drugs.

Medical photographers can vary their style depending on the purpose of a photograph. They often take photos to document patients’ conditions before and after surgery, for example. This task requires technical proficiency in photography, but does not call for innovative use of space or lighting in a shot. Photos taken for brochures or advertising materials, however, can be stylized and dramatic. In this case, medical photographers use lighting, camera angles, and design principles to create different effects in their photos.

Some medical illustrators and photographers work as freelancers and contract their services out to hospitals, medical centers, and other organizations that require illustration or photography services. In addition to the creative aspects of their jobs, freelancers must market their skills to potential employers and handle business tasks such as invoicing and bookkeeping.

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SALARY FINDER

SALARY FINDER

Health Service Administrator

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  • 75
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Yearly Salary Range (US$ Thousands)