Medical illustrator


A medical illustrator is a professional artist who interprets and creates visual material to help record and disseminate medical, biological and related knowledge. Medical illustrators not only produce such material but can also function as consultants and administrators within the field of biocommunication. A certified medical illustrator continues to obtain extensive training in medicine, science, and art techniques throughout his or her career. Medical illustrators create medical illustrations using traditional and digital techniques which can appear in medical textbooks, medical advertisements, professional journals, instructional videotapes and films, animations, web-based media, computer-assisted learning programs, exhibits, lecture presentations, general magazines and television. Although much medical illustration is designed for print or presentation media, medical illustrators also work in three dimensions, creating anatomical teaching models, patient simulators, and facial prosthetics. Medical illustrations have been made for hundreds (or thousands) of years; many illuminated manuscripts and Arabic scholarly treatises of the medieval period contained illustrations representing various anatomical systems (circulatory, nervous, urogenital), pathologies, or treatment methodologies. Many of these illustrations can look odd to modern eyes, since they reflect early reliance on classical scholarship (especially Galen) rather than direct observation, and the representation of internal structures can be fanciful. An early high-

ater mark was the 1542 CE publication of Andreas Vesalius's De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septum, which contained more than 600 exquisite woodcut illustrations based on careful observation of human dissection. As a profession, medical illustration has a more recent history. In the late 1890s, Max Brodel, a talented artist from Leipzig, was brought to The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore to illustrate for Harvey Cushing, William Halstead, Howard Kelly, and other notable clinicians. In addition to being an extraordinary artist, he created new techniques, such as carbon dust, that were especially suitable to his subject matter and then-current printing technologies. In 1911 he presided over the creation of the first academic department of medical illustration, which continues to this day. His graduates spread out across the world, and founded a number of the academic programs listed below under "Education". Notable medical illustrators include Max Brodel and Dr. Frank H. Netter. For an online inventory of scientific illustrators including currently already more than 1000 medical illustrators active 1450-1950 and specializing in anatomy, dermatology and embryology, see the Stuttgart Database of Scientific Illustrators 1450-1950 (DSI) Medical illustration is used in the history of medicine.[1] The traditional tools of medical illustration are slowly being replaced and supplemented by a range of unique modern artistic practices. Three-dimensional renders and endoscopic cameras are replacing carbon dust and cadavers.