ME:120.750 :: Surgical Illustration

Course Description

Offered: First Quarter, Second Year
Instructors: Gary P. Lees, Professor, Lead Instructor
Timothy H. Phelps, Professor
Jennifer Fairman, Associate Professor
David A. Rini, Associate Professor
Corinne Sandone, Associate Professor
Lydia Gregg, Assistant Professor
Credits: 10 Credits: 3 Lecture hours and 12 Studio Hours per week

Illustration of surgical procedures from operating room sketches for medical education. The illustrations can be prepared for publication, presentation, patient education, advertising, or use on the web or in the court room.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the students will be able to:

  • Describe common surgical procedures with related anatomical structures.
  • Arrange layout of images and prepare digital files to specific formats for publication, projection or the internet.
  • Determine concise “word story” including labels and leader lines.
  • Complete illustrations in line, continuous tone, and color in a variety of styles.
  • Utilize technical and mechanical illustration equipment when necessary.
  • Produce effective surgical illustrations to meet a deadline.
  • Record production time to determine cost estimate and pricing.
  • Develop an individual identifiable style.


  • Operating Rooms at Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Department library
  • Surgeons, Residents, Scrub Nurses
  • Operating room supervisors
  • Surgical pathology
  • Autopsy
  • Operative Reports and films
  • Department collection of surgical instruments

Course Assignments

Four surgical procedures selected from the following areas:

  1. Thoracic, including cardiac
  2. Abdominal, including kidney
  3. Reconstructive (plastic)
  4. Orthopedic
  5. Head and neck
  6. Hernia
  7. Neurosurgery

One assignment must be in full color
One assignment must be a plate containing at least 3 images
One assignment must be for slide projection
Crop marks and percent reduction indicated

Course Evaluation

  • 1:1 Faculty-student interface.
  • In-progress sketch critiques with faculty.
  • Critiques with surgeons attending.
  • Grade evaluation form.
  • Final grade.


September – December (Daily) see Departmental Calendar. Student-Instructor conferences are held Tuesdays or Thursdays from 3 – 5 p.m. Critiques set prior to the due date of each assignment.

All students with disabilities who require accommodations for this course should contact Catherine L. Will, Disability Services Coordinator for Graduate Biomedical Education ( or 410-614-3781) at their earliest convenience to discuss their specific needs. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive.


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