Sources of reusable images for medical sciences education

[Updated 31/08/21] We are frequently asked where to find medical sciences  images than can be reused in lectures, exams and on web pages and will attempt to maintain a list here of potential sources. Do always check though, before you publish an images that you have met all the criteria (attribution, whether you are allowed to modify, etc.) for publication:

General Web

  1. CC Search (Free) is one of the best places to start as it will take you straight through to some of the main search engines/repositories for images which are reusable under the various Creative Commons licences. Enter your search query and press the button for the Google Images, Flickr, etc. Unfortunately you can search only one at a time and it doesn’t necessarily cover the sites below.
  2. Wellcome Images (Free) – Creative Commons-licensed images related to current and historical medical science.
  3. MedPix (Free) – largely case-based medical imaging with quizzes – thanks @radcliffescilib
  4. Pixabay (Free) and Pexels (Free)– images, vector graphics and illustration
  5. CDC Public Health Image Library (Free) – for photos, illustrations and video related to public health (thank you to Abdulmohsen Alzalabani on Linked In)
  6. Rheumatology Image Library (Free only for live educational use – paid for any other reproduction) Over 1,700 rheumatology diseases and conditions (thank you to Anne Marie Cunningham on LinkedIn)
  7. The Health Education Assets Library (Free) is a collection of over 22,000 freely available digital materials for health sciences education (thank you to Christof Daetwyler on Linked In)

Do check the terms of use – unless clearly stated otherwise, most sites require you to acknowledge the image source – see: Copyright for instruction ( for more information.


For those at Oxford, who are thinking of using images in materials which will only be accessible to Oxford students (through, e.g our VLE WebLearn/Sakai), it is also possible to use images from many of the journals to which the Bodleian Libraries subscribe, as described in the Bodleian’s Quick guide to copyright and licensing for e-journals.

For those both within and outside Oxford:

  1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Free) Spans biological, physical, and social sciences – “Anyone may, without requesting permission, use original figures or tables published in PNAS for noncommercial and educational use (i.e., in a review article, in a book that is not for sale) provided that the original source and the applicable copyright notice are cited.”
  2. New England Journal of Medicine (Free)

We’ll add others as we discover/remember them but do let us know if you can recommend any others…

Please note: I have deliberately not included sources that primarily contain images for the arts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *