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Medical Illustration Clarifies Medical Practice

This medical illustration depicts a pancreatic dermoid cyst and its impact on the surrounding anatomy. In 1929, Mayo Clinic medical illustrator Russell Drake used pen-and-ink on a clay-covered board to create this drawing. It is one in a series of drawings created to document a procedure by Mayo Clinic surgeon Dr. E. Sarr Judd to surgically remove a pancreatic syst. Later that year, Dr. Judd published the details of this successful procedure, along with Drake’s series of drawings, in the journal Surgical Clinics of North America. (Mayo Clinic’s archive of medical illustration dates back to 1907 and contains more than 60,000 images.)

Currently, Mayo’s practice, research and education initiatives are supported by a staff of seven medical illustrators. Art of science, indeed. And vital to medicine.

Medical illustrators (l to r) Eleanora Fry, Clarice Ashworth and Russell Drake in the art studio located on the 6th floor of St. Mary’s Hospital, in Rochester, Minnesota, circa mid-to-late 1920s.

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