Dr. George Leopold graduated from medical school in 1962. He began his radiology residency in 1965 at the Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburg. Elliot Lasser, then chairman of Radiology, secured a Smith Kline Instruments ultrasound A-mode scanner in 1966 and Leopold was the only resident among several that became interested. He worked first with echoencephalography and then echocardiography. He subsequently was able to use one of Picker's earliest B-mode equipments that was on loan to the hospital. Leopold completed his Radiology Residency at Pittsburgh in 1968 and together with Lasser, joined the radiology faculty at the University of California at San Diego. He ordered the first Picker machine in the west coast in the early days of static sonography. He was appointed Professor in 1976 and became the Chairman at UCSD Radiology Department.
"I became interested in ultrasound," he says, "when this technology was in its infancy and few people thought it could be useful in medicine. It has been exciting to play a role in the development of the field and to see sonography move from obscurity into one of the most valuable diagnostic imaging tools we now have."
Dr. Leopold retired as chair of the department of radiology at the University of California, San Diego in June 2001. He has been widely honored for his contributions in research and teaching. In 1995 he was awarded the Gold Medal from the Association of University Radiologists for his service to the field, and the year before received the Outstanding Medical Alumnus Award from the University of Pittsburgh. He has educated a whole generation of radiologists, obstetricians and technologists in the application of diagnostic ultrasound, through much of his personal teachings and written works. Many have also considered that without Leopold and a few other pioneers, diagnostic sonography might well have failed as a diagnostic modality.
Dr. Leopold's inventiveness, intellect and keen common sense are well known to many as well as his poise, humor, integrity and intellectual honesty. Dr. Leopold has published extensively on abdominal ultrasonography, in particular on diseases of the hepato-billiary system, the abdominal aorta as well as in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has written and made important proposals regarding displaying machine images with videotapes instead of using life patients during trade shows, level I and II examinations and registration of ultrasound personnels. His department is now world famous for it's work on 3D sonography.
Dr. Leopold is an emeritus Fellow of the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound and a trustee and past President of the American Board of Radiology, which is responsible for certification of radiologists in the United States. He is also a past president of the 7,000-member American Roentgen Ray Society and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, which started in 1982. Dr Leopold is presently on the advisory board ( Educational) of the Jefferson Ultrasound Research and Education Institute (JUREI), the largest center for ultrasound education. The Institute in 2000 offers 50 courses dealing with different aspects of ultrasound imaging annually. More than 1,200 doctors and sonographers from more than 40 countries come yearly to take those courses.
Dr. Leopold's picture courtesy of the Society of Gastrointestinal Radiologists.
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