Digital Medical Illustration for the Radiologist.
Radiographics. 2018 Jul-Aug;38(4):1145-1157. doi: 10.1148/rg.2018170088. Epub 2018 Jun 1. McCarty JL1, Gołofit P1, Tigges S1, Skalski M1.
The adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" holds true in medicine, especially so in radiology. Although the images radiologists interpret are highly detailed, there often is no substitute for a concise diagrammatic illustration. Medical illustrations can help to clarify anatomy, pathology, and procedures-relaying complex information in a simple and easily understandable format. Medical illustrations have become ubiquitous in medical education and sought after for publications. Unfortunately, existing best-fit illustrations are not always available to complement discussion points. Thus, academicians are well served by the ability to produce their own illustrations. Although creating medical illustrations may seem unachievable to amateur artists, this is not necessarily the case. Digital illustration does not require the typical artistic skills needed for drawing with pen and paper or painting on a canvas. Radiologists of all skill levels, including those who do not view themselves as artistically inclined, can create their own high-quality original diagrams. Whether drawn freehand with a stylus or traced with a mouse, simple and complex digital works are within reach. However, the utility of illustration programs for radiologists is not inherently obvious, and discussion of useful features in the radiology literature is lacking. Digital illustration programs are accessible to most radiologists, and the process can be simplified to an easily approachable level, with illustration complexity left to the artist's discretion. Online supplemental material is available for this article. ©RSNA, 2018.