Sunday, March 21, 2010

Are You a Shutterbug? Consider a Career in Medical Photography

This is a guest post by Kitty Holman. If you're interested in submitting a guest post, please contact me.

As mentioned in a previous NonClinicalJobs blog post, medical professionals often indulge their creative side. Writing is one way to do so, but exploring the art of photography can easily become a fascinating and rewarding career option, too. If you’d like to fuse your medical expertise with your passion for photography, then consider getting involved with medical photography.

Surely you’ve read dozens of medical textbooks, manuals, and other medicine-related literature. Perhaps you’ve noticed that all these texts contain very detailed photography. Unlike, for example, wedding or news photographers, medical photographers require specialized knowledge that stretches beyond mere competence in the techniques of good photography. According to a very informative Encyclopedia article about medical photography, “…the medical photographer must have a good general knowledge of anatomy and an elementary knowledge of physiology and histology and be familiar with the common everyday terms used in pathology, bacteriology, radiology, and surgical procedures…”

Although there do exist full- and part- time medical photography positions, most medical photographers freelance on a contract basis. Because a full-time photography job isn’t particularly high-paying, many former medical students turn medical photography into a lucrative hobby. These photographers are often employed by health and research organizations, medical schools, hospitals, advertising agencies, publishing companies, and pharmaceutical companies.

Medical photography jobs, like all media- or art-related jobs, comprise a particularly competitive field. But because medical students and researchers need nothing short of excellent visual aids in exploring the discipline, medical photography is extremely important in furthering the ultimate goals of medical science. Thus, the job market for medical photography is definitely growing.

If you are interested in exploring the opportunities that abound within medical photography, then check out Health Careers Center’s article about the steps involved in becoming a medical photographer.

The Bio Communications Association, an international organization dedicated to promoting those working in biological communications, offers the Registered Biological Photographer Program, a program that culminates in participants receiving a Registered Biological Photographer Certification.

To read more about the interesting ethical issues that have emerged from the practice of medical photography, read this review, published in the British Journal of Urology International.

This guest post is contributed by Kitty Holman, who writes on the topics of Nursing Schools. She welcomes your comments at her e-mail:

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