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Medical Illustrator
Medical illustration combines scientific knowledge with artistic skill. ©iStock/Thinkstock
Medical illustration combines scientific knowledge with artistic skill. ©iStock/Thinkstock

You know the book, "Atlas of Human Anatomy"? Its illustrator, Frank Netter, was an artist and surgeon considered one of the most gifted medical illustrators. During his day, the Saturday Evening Post went as far as calling him the "Michelangelo of Medicine."

Medical illustrators are a small group of artists — it's estimated there are no more than 1,200 working in North America — who specialize in combining their medical and scientific knowledge with art and design skills to visually translate and explain medical and scientific information in a way those in the medical field — and patients and students — can understand.

Medical illustrators aren't all about documenting our biology and surgical procedures, though. They also graphically represent medical information and create art for a range of purposes such as patient education programs, pharmaceutical company materials, legal proceedings, surgical training, science journals and textbooks. Additionally, medical illustrators sculpt training models and prosthetic devices, create animations and design computer-based training simulations.