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Saint Louis University School of Medicine
3635 Vista Blvd at Grand Blvd
Saint Louis, Missouri 63110-0250
Phone: 314-577-8025

Department of Radiology - History

Saint Louis University School of Medicine was founded in 1836 and awarded the first medical degree west of the Mississippi River in 1839. The School of Medicine separated from Saint Louis University in 1854 under the influence of the Know Nothing movement, an anti-immigration movement that sought to lessen the influence of Catholicism on education and other aspects of American life. As a result, the University was without a medical school until 1903 when the William Beaumont and Marion Sims School of Medicine joined the university to become the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Radiology was in its infancy at this time as Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen had just discovered the x-ray in 1895. The x-ray laboratory at the School of Medicine was initially under the umbrella of the Department of Surgery at St. Louis City Hospital. The Department of Radiology was eventually established as an independent department at St. Louis City Hospital in 1927. An approved radiology training program was subsequently established under the leadership of Dr. Leroy Sante. Dr. Sante went on to become Chairman of the Department of Radiology in 1928 and served until 1960.

Additional training programs were also established at St. Mary’s Hospital and Firmin Desloge Hospital. In 1956, what is now SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center opened, and the educational programs quickly expanded to include training in pediatrics. In 1959, Firmin Desloge Hospital merged with its two adjoining institutes, the Bordley Memorial Pavilion and the David P. Wohl Sr. Memorial Institute, to become Saint Louis University Hospital. The Imaging Department at John Cochran Veterans Administration Hospital also became affiliated with the School of Medicine around this time. In 1985, the original St. Louis City Hospital was closed, and the primary location of the radiology residency training program was moved to Saint Louis University Hospital.

Dr. Don Weir took over as Acting Chairman of the Department of Radiology in 1960 and then served as Chairman from 1967-1975. Dr. Armand Brodeur served as Chairman of the department from 1975 to 1978 and was succeeded by Dr. John Shields (1978-1994), Dr. Alan Williams (1994-2000), and Dr. Michael Wolverson (2000-2011). Dr. Jeffrey Brown is the current Chairman (2011-present).

Over the past two decades, the Department of Radiology has expanded to include 20 full-time radiologists in addition to a number of part-time and clinical faculty. The Division of Nuclear Medicine joined the Department in March 2007 with its own ACGME accredited residency program for two residents and one fellowship position in PET/CT.

The educational programs currently include a 4 year residency in Diagnostic Radiology for 27 residents. The Diagnostic Radiology Residency program at Saint Louis University has long held a reputation as a strong clinical training program. It provides a diverse and comprehensive educational experience to its residents enabling them to obtain top-notch fellowship positions in a wide variety of subspecialties as well as preparing them for successful future careers in academic radiology and private practice.