Medical illustration—drawing life
The artists behind your textbooks
- By: Eva Dumann
As a medical student, it’s hard to imagine a life without medical illustration, be it in textbooks, slideshows, applications, or journals. We are all able to distinguish our lecturer’s Microsoft Paint accident from the more professional illustrations in his or her slideshow, but still often take the latter for granted. Who are the people who devote their lives to creating artwork, which is, as artist Philip Wilson puts it, “there to serve”?
There are many routes into medical illustration. In the United Kingdom it is taught as a specialised postgraduate course organised by the Medical Artist’s Education Trust (MAET). Each year, one or two new trainees begin the two to five year distance learning course. On qualification, students become members of the Medical Artists Association of Great Britain (MAA). The association aims to bring together the approximately 40 in total medical artists, promote the profession, maintain high standards of medical