In the previous section, we discussed the significant advances that started to take place in radiology practice after the end of World War II. In this section, we continue to highlight those advances.
During early 1950s, RSNA had an elevated number of members, after it was joined by women, who worked as radiology technicians during war, and the radiologists from Southwestern US and Mexico. Moreover, to cope with the increasing specialization in radiology practice, nearly 30 new radiology societies were established, such as the Association of University Radiologists in 1953, the Society of Nuclear Medicine in 1956, the American Club of Therapeutic Radiologists in 1958, and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine in 1959.
One the other hand, although the financial situation of the RSNA was strong in the 1950s, the funding spent on research was still limited. RSNA leaders tried to provide new resources for funding researches. In 1953, RSNA President, Ira H. Lockwood, MD, agreed that the organization provide support to the James Picker Foundation, which in turn funded three radiology-related research projects.
In the same time, W. Walter Wasson, MD, had the RSNA executive committee approval for a new idea; Dr. Wasson established the Memorial Fund Lecture. The Lecture was included in the RSNA annual meeting, where a young radiologist gives a lecture on his recent studies and receives, in return, support from the RSNA. The first lecturer was Rollin K. McCombs, MD, from Berkeley, CA.
By mid 1950s, RSNA officially recognized nuclear medicine as a radiology branch. This resulted in increasing need for scientific papers and sessions to cover the recently developed branch. Moreover, 1957 RSNA President Edgar C. Virden, MD, in addition to Dr Childs, and the Executive Committee had to change the annual meeting program in order cover the need for more Refresher Courses. The scientific assembly of 1957 saw an overcrowded area where exhibitors started to express discomfort with the huge numbers. That assembly was held at Palmer House in Chicago. RSNA planned to increase the exhibiting space in the next years to be able to host more and more attendees. By 1958, the RSNA meeting that also took place in the Palmer House and was supervised by RSNA President Leo R. Rigler, MD, was another crowded event.
It is a fact the 1950s were the golden era of radiology. The practice was one of the rapidly advancing medical specialties. 1950s included the first use of radiology for treatment in addition to its major role as a diagnostic tool, in addition to the development of nuclear medicine. However, the advances in radiology continued to take place in the 1960s. We will discuss such advances in the next sections.