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Medical illustration is the creation of images, whether photographic, video, graphic or hand illustrated, in a clinical or healthcare setting. Illustrators work in hospitals, clinics, laboratories and in production studios, supporting medical and healthcare professionals and scientists in the provision of patient care and with research. They also work with designers, printers and communications agencies during production and printing phases.
The visual work produced by medical illustrators is used by doctors, nurses, pathologists and scientists to assess patient complaints, form diagnoses and, ultimately, to devise treatment plans.
Medical illustrators’ work can also be used in research papers, medical journals, websites, teaching aids, advertisements and patient information brochures. Specific technical skills in production and IT will often be required, depending on the area a medical illustrator specialise in.
Medical illustrators can train to use specialist medical techniques, including endoscopy, x-ray imaging, audio-visual imaging and angiography. Many illustrators hand draw or use computer-assisted design software to illustrate the anatomy for a variety of media.