What is a Medical Illustrator?

Medical illustration, or biomedical visualization, is the pracice of representing aspects of medicine and science in figital, modeling, or printed form. Medical illustrators work in various fields from legal to pharmaceutical; publishing, health promotion, and surgical settings. Medical illustrators typically have earned an undergraduate egree in some field of art or science, and subsequently earn a graduate degree. Medical illustrators have the option to freelance, to work for an organization, or to work at a university, among many options.

The Primary Organization
to which Medical Illustrators Refer

The Association of Medical Illustrators, AMI, was instituted to maintain the standards for training in medical illustration and to provide ethical guidelines for practice:

AMI Headquarters
1819 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 620
Atlanta, Georgia 30309 U.S.A.
(404) 350-7900, Fax: (404) 351-3348

Graduate Programs

Many illustrators go on to earn Master's degrees in biomedical visualization or biomedical communication. There are five programs in North America that provide Master's degrees in medical illustration. The programs listed below are accredited by the AMI.
    • University of Toronto
      Division of Biomedical Communications

      Located on two campuses at the University of Toronto:

      U of T Mississauga Campus
      Room 308, Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex
      3359 Mississauga Road North
      Mississauga, ON Canada L5L 1C6
      Phone: 905-569-4849
      Fax: 905-569-4847
      U of T St. George Campus
      Room 75, Fitzgerald Building
      150 College Street
      Toronto ON Canada M5S 3E2
      Phone: 416-978-2659



    • Dept. of Medical Illustration
      Georgia Health Sciences University

      1120 15th Street, CJ1101
      Augusta, GA 30912-0300
      Phone: 706-721-3266
      Fax: 706-721-7855



    • University of Illinois
      Department of Biomedical Visualization
      College of Associated Health Professions
      University of Illinois at Chicago
      1919 W. Taylor Street, Room 213, M/C 527
      Chicago, Illinois 60612
      Tel: (312) 996-4975
      Fax: (312) 996-8342
      (312) 996-7337



      Johns Hopkins University

    • Medical and Biological Illustration Graduate Program
      Department of Art as Applied to Medicine
      The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
      1830 E. Monument Street, Suite 7000
      Baltimore, Maryland 21205-2100
      Tel: (410) 955-3213
      Fax: (410) 955-1085



    • The University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School-Dallas

      Biomedical Communications Graduate Program
      Dept. of Health Care Sciences
      The University of Texas
      Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
      5323 Hines Blvd.
      Dallas, Texas 75235-8881
      Tel: (214) 648-4699
      Fax: (214) 648-5353



The United Kingdom has an organization for medical illustrators as well:

Institute of Medical Illustration UK


A few links to begin exploring

  1. Association of Medical Illustrators Question and Answer Page .
  2. The question about how e-books can be making use of medical illustrations dynamically.
  3. What it's like as a medical illustrator
  4. Med Monthly's article about medical illustration
  5. A personal perspective
  6. Wikipedia's article on medical illustration
  7. Leonardo DaVinci's Anatomical Drawings
  8. Wikipedia's Frank Netter article
  9. Wikipedia's Max Brodel article
  10. Wikipedia's Andreas Vesalius article
  11. Eila Hopper Ross article

Read more about the career of medical illustration here.

Laura Maaske, B.Sc., M.Sc.BMC
Contact Laura

Text Copyright © Medimagery - Laura Maaske LLC

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i.v. for non-tunneled catheter Illustration © 2012 Dendreon, illustrated by Laura Maaske - Medimagery LLC.

We specialize in highly interactive dynamic medical illustrations for both print and e-publishing. Content is dynamic and interactive, or traditional. Illustrations are prepared for advertising, pharmaceutical, publishing, health promotion, health professional education, children, and medical-legal resources. All medical, e-book illustrations, dynamic and conceptual artwork are prepared by hand for the client's unique needs. All materials Copyright © - Laura Maaske - Medimagery LLC. Call Laura at 262-308-1300 with questions or to request a price quote.