The University of Toronto offers a graduate study program for people who love art and also have a background in biology, physiology, anatomy, or nursing.
Nick Woolridge showed Jeanette and me the large collection of medical illustrations by various artists, including original drawings by the German medical illustrator Max Brödel from the venerable Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy (1943).
The 32 students in the Biomedical Communications program learn the time-honored technique of carbon dust on clay-coated board. They also master 2D digital techniques and 3D animation.
Graduates of the program work for animation studios, book publishers, pharmaceutical companies, and documentary producers. “This is art as applied to medicine,” Mr. Woolridge said.
The two-year Master of Science graduate program in Biomedical Communication is part of the U of T’s Institute of Medical Science and is only one of five accredited programs of its kind in North American and the only one in Canada.
The five members of full-time faculty works closely with experts in the University of Toronto's medical school, giving the students a chance to have their work reviewed and critiqued by specialists like surgeons, pathologists, and immunologists.
During the tour we visited Grant’s Anatomy Museum, which houses the original dissections made for J.B. Grant’s An Atlas of Anatomy (1943). Obviously I couldn’t take photographs there, but the collection includes dozens of partially-dissected and cross-sectioned human cadavers preserved in clear fluid, each illuminated from above within a darkened room. The atmosphere in the room was hushed and focused, and students were drawing from the exhibits.
Students also have access to the operating rooms of nine of Toronto’s teaching hospitals where they can observe and sketch during surgery. Surgeons-in-training need the work of artists to clarify forms that cameras can’t see.
Website for UofT’s Biomedical Communications, link.
Teaching facilities, link.
Thanks, Nick and Gordon!