Medical illustration (graphics) at Mayo Clinic traces its origins to 1905, when an outside artist first did sketches of pathologic specimens. In 1907, Florence Byrnes was employed to handle this work under Maud Mellish Wilson's direction. Mayo Clinic's Art Section became a popular training place for visiting students in the 1920s.
After seeing the excellence of Russell Drake's work at Rochester Junior College, Dr. Will Mayo encouraged him to consider a medical illustration career. With additional training, Drake served Mayo for 44 years. He became head of the Section of Medical Illustrations in 1932. Today's section combines medical illustration, photography, computer graphics, and graphic design. Over the years, personnel in illustration, photography and design have been among the pioneers in developing their respective specialties.