The Institute of Medical Illustrators is the professional institute of choice for the medical illustrator. The leading body in Europe, it exists to promote the role of the medical illustrator as a professional member of a multi-skilled team who offer a range of core clinical illustrative and communication services as part of the healthcare team for the benefit of patients and clients.
The Institute will continue to strive for the highest professional standards and will support, guide and motivate members to achieve success and personal recognition for the quality of their contribution to the healthcare team.
Are you considering a career in Medical Illustration? Or perhaps you’d just like to know more about the profession. For more details about choosing a career in Medical Illustration, please contact one of our members from the contact page. They’ll be happy to answer your questions. For current job vacancies visit the jobs page.
The Institute of Medical Illustrators was founded in 1968 to bring together the several disciplines of medical illustration, and since that time IMI has set and maintained standards for the profession. We represent Clinical Photographers, Healthcare Designers, Medical Artists and Clinical Video Producers both in the UK and internation.
For its membership, IMI provides a rich network of fellow professionals, working together to improve and develop medical illustration by means of conferences, courses, resources and regional meetings.
IMI introduced the first Diploma in Medical Illustration in this country and in conjunction with Glasgow Caledonian University, this was validated as the first BSc in Medical Illustration in the world. In partnership with Westminster University we developed the first and only BSc (Hons) in Clinical Photography. Post-graduate courses in clinical photography and healthcare design have also been developed with Staffordshire and Cardiff Universities. Qualified members are entitled to use the letters MIMI after their name.
We create a supportive team working environment, which draws from across our membership, values individual skills and provides a focus on mutual gain by sharing goals and collaborating fully. We value everyone, respect their individuality and treat all colleagues and members with trust, consideration and understanding. We promote a supportive and rewarding environment within the Institute.
We recognise that however good a service or process may be, it can always be bettered! We accept our responsibility to continually challenge ourselves as to how we can drive up quality by delivering our remit for our members and for patients more effectively and efficiently. We jointly share a restless desire for continual improvement, both for ourselves and for our Institute services. Only by questioning ourselves and others, going further than the minimum, stretching our goals and striving for increasingly superior outputs, will we continue to make a difference in supporting excellence in professional standards across services in healthcare visualisation.
We accept our distinct role in maintaining and improving the working lives of those professions we serve and take personal responsibility in doing our utmost to achieve that. If it’s the right thing to do, we look to overcome obstacles and find a way through. Striving for the best possible outcome requires us to be solution-focused, adaptable, tenacious and future-focused. We take the right route, not the easiest route and surround ourselves with colleagues who are equally determined and supportive.
We recognise that our members needs in terms of support will change over time. We recognise that only by anticipating and developing new and better solutions, pushing boundaries, being open and receptive to change and finding space for innovation will we stretch our imaginations far enough to maintain our relevance and continue to earn the loyalty of existing and future members.
We are open and honest with our colleagues at all times and take pride in consistently delivering our promises, without compromise. We maintain a balance between seeking to deliver the ideal, yet remaining practical and pragmatic, as the situation demands.
Meet the team who volunteer to bring together the several disciplines of medical illustration and run the Institute of Medical Illustrators organisation.
The Armorial Ensigns of the Institute of Medical Illustrators granted by the College of Heralds in 1991.
The silver (‘argent’) shield carries a pattern of narrow diagonal interlaced strips (‘fretty’) in red (‘gules’) symbolising the blood vessels, while the scattered (‘semy’) red circles (‘annulets’) represent blood corpuscles. The green (‘vert’) central bar (‘pale’) bears three gold (‘or’) suns with rays emerging (‘in splendour’), which symbolise light for the camera. The red circles within the suns represent the camera lens.
The helm has a closed visor and, as is always the case in the arms of a corporate company, faces to the left. The helm’s wreath in silver and red represents the twisted silk of a knight. A helm always has twelve twists all round, and therefore six are in view. The mantling around the wreath and helm represents cloth over the neck of the knight to shade him from the sun. The creature surmounting the helm (the ‘opinicus’, also known as a gryphon) is a rare monster from the mediæval bestiary and is now associated with surgery, having been used for the first time by the Company of Barber Surgeons in 1561. The creature squats on its haunches (‘sejant’) and has the breast, wings and head of an eagle. Its ears, body, forelegs and hindlegs are those of a lion. Its tail is short and stumpy, like that of a bear (or, in some references, a camel). In its right (‘dexter’) paw is a red quill pen in reference to art and illustration.
“Imagines verba superant” is in Latin and was chosen by the Institute. It translates as “Images surpass words”.
The badge was originally a mediæval device used by ‘magnets’ to recognise their supporters, especially during a battle when each knight had his own followers. In the badge two red quill pens, diagonally crossed (‘in saltire’), are aligned centrally between two gold suns, again ‘in splendour’. These symbols of illustration and light are encircled by a green serpent, which is another emblem traditionally used in medicine. The serpent is in this case ‘vorant’, that is, swallowing its own tail.
The Coat of Arms is used on IMI’s official documents such as Membership and Fellowship certificates and the badge may be used (for example, on letterheads), with the express approval of the Institute’s Honorary Secretary, by any fully paid-up member of the Institute.