Our mission here at The Muse is simple: to help you find your dream job. So, there’s nothing we love more than hearing about it when you do!
Today, we chatted with Molly Huttner, who—get this—is a medical illustrator at Veritas Health. Her job is pretty cool, and includes drawing 3D images and animations of the human body and various molecules (and you’ve probably seen her work on the internet). The best part, though, is that she actually created her own role at her company.
Give us your elevator speech!
Most doctors aren’t great communicators. This is where I step in: As a medical illustrator, I’m trained in medicine and visual communication. My images are a crucial bridge for readers who aren’t regularly exposed to medical language and can serve as a roadmap to their understanding. It’s a beautiful thing—patients and their providers can resolve literacy barriers through the images and animations that I create, as well as easily share their medical needs with friends and family members.
What were you doing before you landed your new job?
I just received my master’s in biomedical visualization (another term for what I do) in May of last year and completed my research in biomedical communication and patient education through animation.
What were you looking for in a job?
Biomedical visualization is a fast-paced and aggressively expanding field, so I was very invested in finding a job that encouraged innovation and a company that shared my excitement in the profession.
What do you actually do as a medical illustrator?
I’m Veritas Health’s first in-house medical illustrator, so each day has been a step toward developing my role in the company. I illustrate didactic images to go along with our articles using a digital painting program and a drawing tablet, but I also work with 3D visualization software to manipulate models of skeletons and molecules to include in my illustrations. This new content has been revolutionary in how we approach visuals in the company, and I feel lucky to have been a part of that shift.
Our latest venture has been a rethinking of video, and I’m really looking forward to exploring the possibilities of mixed-media animations.
What’s something most people would find surprising about working at Veritas Health?
Search anything about the spine—our images and articles from the Veritas Health site, Spine-health.com, are almost always one of the first Google results you’ll find. I hadn’t realized how ubiquitous our content was online when applying, and it’s really motivating to see our product engage with so many people.
What’s your favorite part so far about working at Veritas Health?
My job requires specialized hardware and software that isn’t often used by anyone else. Understandably, this is seen as a drawback for many organizations, and I’d initially offered to bring my own resources from home.
However, Veritas Health is fully invested in growing with its employees and providing us the resources to move forward. I have everything I need to do my job and the ability to test new applications on our product—and that’s been amazing.
What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on so far?
I’m currently rigging a 3D model of a skeleton created from patient data and preparing it for the illustrations and animations we do in-house. It’s taking a while (there are 206 bones in the human body!) but once it’s done we will have an indispensable resource for our images. We call him Spiney!
Is there anything from The Muse that helped you out in your job hunt?
In preparation for my interview, I probably watched my now-co-workers’ video interviews about 10 times each (particularly the ones I knew I’d be speaking with!). Being a visual person, The Muse profile really helped me “visualize” my goals for the interview process and my potential place in the company.
Is there anything you did during your application process that you think helped you stand out and land the job?
As our HR Manager likes to say, I let them know that they needed me. There was no open position for ‘Medical Illustrator’ at Veritas when I contacted them, and I simply introduced myself, explained what I did, and invited them to look at my online portfolio.
That’s not so unheard of in my field: People who need us oftentimes haven’t heard of us. I’d recommend this route to anyone who finds a company that could use them but doesn’t have a listing that sounds like it matches their skill set.
What advice would you have for someone who wants a job like yours?
If you’ve found a company you want to work for and you think could use you, tell them! The worst that can happen is you don’t get a response and you keep looking.