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How Do I Become a Medical Photographer?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2016
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An individual interested in photography and the medical sciences may decide that he or she wants to become a medical photographer, also referred to as a biomedical photographer. To follow this career path, a student should take classes in both photography and science in high school to prepare well for college. While studying for his or her degree, a student should take classes that focus on medical photography, while also taking classes in biology, chemistry, and math. Hands-on experience is essential to become a medical photographer as well.

As early as the high school years, some students are torn between their love for photography and their interest in the biological sciences. If a student maintains a well-rounded curriculum, filled with both areas of interest, however, he or she might choose to pursue both subjects and become a medical photographer. Specific courses that are useful in the field include photography, art, chemistry, and biology. Other courses that are useful include language and communication courses, as these help people clearly articulate their thoughts both on paper and through speech.

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After high school, someone who wants to become a medical photographer should continue on to receive a college degree. In most cases, the person will attend a two-year or a four-year college and take courses that will help him or her specialize in medical photography. Courses may include medical photography, scientific photography, digital photography, and biomedical visuals. In some cases, a student may attend a school that has an entire degree that specializes in medical photography.

After graduating from college, students also may opt to become certified. To obtain certification, students show they have studied the requisite subject matter by passing an examination on topics such as the theory of light and color, optics, motion media, medical terminology, and photochemistry. Many medical photographers specialize in only one small area of medical photography, so an all-inclusive certification is not always necessary.

A person who wants to become a medical photographer should have plenty of hands-on experience as well. This can be gained by interning or working for an established photographer. In some cases, the individual can volunteer his or her time and take on unpaid assignments from universities or hospitals as well.

When looking for a job, a person who wants to become a medical photographer has a wide range of potential employers. For example, he or she can work for a university medical school, medical clinic, or hospital. In addition, many pharmaceutical companies, publishers, and research groups hire medical photographers. Another option is to work as a freelance photographer, taking on projects from clients as necessary.

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