When I joined the American College of Radiology as a young lawyer in 1983, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was still in its infancy. When I first heard about this scanner, it was mostly referred as nuclear magnetic resonance. The Food and Drug Administration would not approve MRI until 1984, and Medicare did not cover it until 1985. Since those early days, it is truly amazing to contemplate the impact this invention has had on healthcare in the United States and around the world.
The father of the MRI, Raymond Vahan Damadian, has died but his amazing accomplishments have brought diagnosis and treatment of so many illness and conditions to millions world wide. His passing is a reminder of how creativity, combined with determination and innovation can bring improvement to mankind.
Damadian never gave up on his dream. His persistence in the face of great adversity, especially among the scientific community, and his intense passion for trying to cure cancer led to the invention of a machine that has undoubtedly impacted and saved millions of lives.