The x-ray was discovered 121 years ago today on November 8, 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen of Bavaria, and his discovery has since shaped the face of many branches of science. Our understanding of the double-helix shape of DNA was provided in part by x-ray crystallography. In 1999, NASA deployed the Chandra X-ray Observatory aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, which has since studied and discovered black holes and advanced our understanding of dark matter. In 2009 the x-ray was named the most important scientific discovery of modern times, even ahead of penicillin.
Its impact on the medical field in particular has been enormous and has grown with each passing year. The week of November 7-12 is National Radiologic Technology Week, an excellent time to recognize the important role that diagnostic imaging has had in the field of medicine.
The discovery of the x-ray changed the way medicine was practiced. Today, radiography remains the most common form of medical diagnostic imaging and plays an instrumental role in providing high-quality patient care. According to Rebecca Schwartz, MD, Specialty Director of Radiology at Atrius Health, “X-rays help physicians determine the severity of injury in trauma patients, diagnose changes in various organs and diagnose or rule out diseases. Diagnostic imaging like radiography allows physicians to more accurately detect, treat and diagnose patients, which means patients undergo fewer unnecessary and exploratory surgeries, avoid inappropriate treatments that increase the cost of their care, and experience better outcomes.”
X-ray imaging also forms the basis of computerized tomography or CT, which is used to analyze fractures, detect strokes and head injuries, discover and stage tumors, and evaluate herniated discs and a range of infectious processes including abscesses. Dr. Schwartz added, “The general public is broadly aware of x-ray images, but often doesn’t know about the advanced radiology equipment used to perform sophisticated medical tests. We celebrate the science behind the x-ray and thank our technologists and radiologists for their outstanding work in providing quality imaging services for our patients.”
At Atrius Health, we provide the following medical imaging procedures: X-ray, Fluoroscopy, CT, MRI, Nuclear Medicine, Mammography, Ultrasound and Bone Densitometry.
Ray Wilburn RT, MBA, is an Administrative Director of Radiology at Atrius Health and has over 30 years of experience in hospital and imaging administration. He earned his MBA from Independence University with an emphasis in healthcare administration and has an extensive background in radiology coding and reimbursement. Prior to his administrative career, Ray received training at George Washington University as a CT and interventional technologist.