Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine History
In the spring of 1896, only months after Röntgen’s discovery of the “mysterious X-rays,” University of Maryland faculty member and gastroenterologist John C. Hemmeter, MD, published one of the first articles on contrast imaging of the human stomach. By summer of the same year, the university had installed its first X-ray machine, originally a part of the general services provided to surgical and emergency patients. The call for X-ray procedures––and specialized expertise in interpreting the shadowy images––led to the establishment of the hospital’s radiology service in 1900.
Although the small unit was originally staffed on a part-time basis by physicians who maintained private offices outside the hospital, the first half of the 20th century saw steady gains in radiological technique, staff, and training. In 1954, with the appointment of John M. Dennis, MD, as the permanent chair, the department began to be recognized for its clinical and academic contributions. Study volume and quality grew quickly thereafter, as did the numbers of faculty, residents, and other trainees. As the hospital grew, the department expanded from the North into the South building and more recently into the new Gudelsky and Weinberg buildings. Today, services are also provided at the adjacent Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center and at University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus, University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedics Institute formerly Kernan Hospital, University Medical Specialties Hospital, as well as at private offices at UIC and Shipley’s Choice.
A renewed focus on research activities has brought recognition for programs in informatics, MR and CT imaging, nuclear medicine, cardiac imaging, image-guided procedures, and forensic imaging. An infrastructure of dedicated research support staff has been added to encourage ongoing grant and funding efforts, both within the department and as part of a growing number of interdisciplinary and cooperative studies.