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Vicki finds her dream job capturing Mater

When Vicki Adams answered a newspaper ad for a Cadet Medical Illustrator at Mater Health Services in 1988, aged 18, she had no idea what she was getting herself into.

Twenty-one years later, Ms Adams has just been made a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Medical and Biological Illustration – the highest level of achievement in her field.

This milestone has given her cause to reflect on what has been an unexpectedly wonderful and fascinating career.

“I stumbled upon my dream job here at Mater,” Ms Adams explained.

“When I left school I knew I wanted to be a photographer, but I really didn’t know which area I wanted to work in,” she said.

“I tried press photography and didn’t like it and then on a whim I applied for the Medical Illustrator Cadetship at Mater.

“It’s a job that is regularly challenging and never boring.”

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In her role as Mater’s one and only Medical Illustrator, Ms Adams provides photographic and design services to the entire organisation.

Her average day at work can involve pre and post-operative theatre photography, compiling photographic records of research trials, taking images for use as part of patient clinical records and capturing an event taking place on campus.

“No two days are the same and it’s great,” Ms Adams said.

“Unlike many other hospitals, Mater provides health care in the three mainstreams of medicine: maternity; adult health; and paediatrics.”

The challenge for Ms Adams is in navigating the very personal nature of much of her work.

“The images I am required to take often involve patients and even without the element I bring, they are in a difficult situation. They are in hospital receiving treatment and I am cognoscente that my being there is another thing to deal with,” she explained.

“I find that how I communicate with patients is really important. They are placing an enormous amount of trust in me. I am regularly astounded by how well patients respond to my job.”

Vicki Adams, Medical Illustrator at Mater

Vicki Adams, Medical Illustrator at Mater.

Vicki takes a variety of medical images across the Mater campus

Vicki takes a variety of medical images across the Mater campus.


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