Fast Facts for International Day of Radiology

x ray

Today, we’re recognizing the International Day of Radiology, a celebration of one of the most progressive fields in healthcare. On November 8, 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen captured the very first x-ray picture.

However, x-rays weren’t used clinically until the following year. By then, news of the advancement caught on and x-rays were used to detect foreign objects in the body, which helped treat bone fractures and gunshot wounds.

Held on the anniversary of x-radiation’s discovery, the International Day of Radiology is in its eighth year of honoring the immense value that this specialty provides. Radiologists and radiological technologists deserve awareness for the vital impact their contributions make each day to improve patient care.

Medical imaging is incredibly progressive; x-rays, MRI scans, ultrasound technology are all used to help identify and treat a wide range of conditions. Specifically, 2019 focuses on sports imaging and highlights its role in the detection and treatment of the increasing number of sports-related injuries.

Today, we’d like to celebrate with the rest of the world and help promote radiology’s unique contributions to modern medicine. Please enjoy the following “fast facts” honoring unique pieces of the specialty’s timeline and highlighting a few of its most significant milestones.

  1. The very first x-ray picture Röntge took was of his wife’s hand. After the technology became used for clinical treatments, he earned a Nobel Prize in Physics for his tremendous discovery.
  2. Marie Curie’s “petites Curies,” transportable radiography units, helped battlefield surgeons during World War I.
  3. The advancements in tuberculosis treatments are all thanks to x-rays. With physicians able to see TB’s shadows on the lungs earlier, they were able to diagnose patients much earlier and save countless lives.
  4. In 1927, 37% of radiologic technologists were nuns.
  5. Early in their history, x-rays were utilized to burn off moles. Today, radiotherapy is used to treat certain cancers.
  6. In the early 1950s, a form of x-rays allowed scientists to notice the double-helix structure of DNA.
  7. In 1956 the first clinical use of ultrasound was recorded. In 1971, the first CT scan was performed on a patient’s brain. Today, there are over 78 million CT procedures performed each year.
  8. The year 1977 marked the first MR scan of the human body. Today, over 37 million MR procedures are performed each year.
  9. The first 3D mammography exam was performed in the U.S. in 2011.
  10. Today, there are approximately 34,000 radiologists in the United States.

Whether you’re a locum tenens provider seeking a new opportunity, a permanent provider looking for your next move, or you are simply observing the field’s advancements, we hope you enjoyed these interesting pieces of history!