Released: December 2, 2008
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CHICAGO, Dec. 2, 2008 — Today the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) conferred its highest honor, the Gold Medal, upon Peggy J. Fritzsche, M.D., of Redlands, Calif.; Anthony V. Proto, M.D., of Richmond, Va.; and Lee F. Rogers, M.D., of Tucson, Ariz.
In a tradition that originated in 1919, Gold Medals are presented each year to individuals who have rendered exemplary service to the science of radiology and who have received unanimous approval by the RSNA Board of Directors.
At a very early age, Peggy J. Fritzsche, M.D., decided to pursue a career in medicine. Her passion and commitment in medicine led her to a successful career of radiologic innovation and improving patient care.
RSNA President Theresa C. McLoud, M.D., said she has always admired Dr. Fritzsche as a strong leader and tireless worker. "She has emphasized the commitment that radiology as a specialty must make to improving communications with our patients and referring clinicians."
An RSNA member since 1978, Dr. Fritzsche joined the RSNA Board of Directors in 1995. In 2003, she became the Society’s second woman president. Dr. Fritzsche served as chair of the RSNA Research & Education (R&E) Foundation Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2006 and has continued to serve on the Individual Giving Committee. She is a past-president of the American Association for Women Radiologists and is an honorary member of the European Society of Radiology, as well as a corresponding honorary member of the Swiss Radiological Society.
"I found it a privilege to participate in RSNA from the beginning, but to be rewarded with the Gold Medal is pure joy," Dr. Fritzsche said. "It is an honor to be recognized for the innovation, vision, whatever it is that I have been able to contribute to further the cause of radiology and RSNA."
Dr. Fritzsche earned her bachelor’s degree from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich. She received her medical degree from Loma Linda University in California. Dr. Fritzsche completed her residency at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles. She is currently a professor of radiology at Loma Linda University where she has been since 1986.
From 1991 to 2004, Dr. Fritzsche served as medical director of the Riverside MRI Center in Riverside, Calif. There she ran a successful private practice by introducing advanced MRI techniques, making patient comfort her priority. Her prototype office design, which allowed mid-field open MRI to be available at the same location as high-field MRI to accommodate large and claustrophobic patients, became a model for MR practice in the 1990s.
During her time on the RSNA Board of Directors, Dr. Fritzsche helped launch the public information Web site RadiologyInfo.org, jointly sponsored by RSNA and the American College of Radiology, and chaired the committee responsible for RSNA’s three-year radiology exhibit at Disney's Epcot in Orlando, Fla.
As the sixth editor of RSNA's scientific medical journal, Radiology, Anthony V. Proto, M.D., demonstrated qualities of consistency, accuracy and intellectual integrity.
"During his tenure as editor of Radiology, he brought the journal to new heights through his visionary leadership, dynamism and dedication to the task at hand," said RSNA President Theresa C. McLoud, M.D.
"Being honored with the RSNA Gold Medal is an event that will never fade from my memory, an event I will always cherish," Dr. Proto said.
An RSNA member since 1973, Dr. Proto served as editor of Radiology from 1997 to 2007. He has also been awarded honorary membership to the Rocky Mountain Radiological Society, Philadelphia Roentgen Ray Society, Canadian Association of Radiologists, Italian Society of Medical Radiology and the Chicago Radiological Society. In addition, he has been a trustee and an assistant executive director of the American Board of Radiology (ABR). He has published 288 articles, editorials, book chapters and abstracts, as well as presented many lectures on both the national and international stages.
Dr. Proto’s tenure as editor of Radiology was marked by major transformations that he brought to the publication. He reformed the authorship criteria by modeling them on recommendations of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. He also streamlined the peer-review process and shifted to an online submissions and review system.
Dr. Proto received his medical degree in 1971 from Yale Medical School in New Haven, Conn. He completed a surgical department internship and radiology residency at the State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. It was there that he became chief resident in diagnostic radiology in 1974 and finished a fellowship in thoracic radiology in 1975. In 1976, he transferred to San Antonio, Texas, for military duty where, as a major, he served as training officer in the U.S. Air Force. At the Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center at San Antonio's Lackland Air Force Base, Dr. Proto became the chief of diagnostic and chest radiology. He is currently a tenured professor in the Department of Radiology at the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
With an expertise in skeletal trauma imaging in adults and children and a passion for advocating responsible practice of radiology, Lee F. Rogers, M.D., has earned the respect and admiration of many colleagues.
RSNA President, Theresa C. McLoud, M.D., views Dr. Rogers as a mentor with significant impact on her and others in the radiology field. "Dr. Rogers is truly a renaissance man in radiology. He has served in numerous capacities. To his friends and professional colleagues, he is perhaps most admired for his unfailing good humor, collegiality and high sense of professionalism."
"It is a distinct honor and privilege to receive the RSNA Gold Medal and to have my name added to that impressive roster of outstanding radiologists who have been previously recognized," Dr. Rogers said.
Dr. Rogers has been an active member of RSNA since 1966 and was first vice president of RSNA in 1991. He has served as president of the American College of Radiology and has been active in numerous radiological organizations such as the American Board of Radiology, Chicago Radiological Society, Association of University Radiologists and the Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments.
Other achievements include honorary memberships to a number of radiological societies as well as gold medal awards. He has published a two-volume text called Radiology of Skeletal Trauma, which is considered a "must read" among medical scholars around the world.
Dr. Rogers' career started in 1959 with a medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. After enlisting in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he completed an internship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and a residency at Fitzsimons General Hospital in Denver, Colo. From 1963 to 1967, Dr. Rogers served at the 2nd General Hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, and the Brooke General Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. He entered the private practice of radiology at Baptist Memorial Hospital in San Antonio.
In 1968, he began his distinguished academic career at the University of Texas (UT) Medical School, becoming an associate professor of radiology in 1971. The following year, he accepted a position at UT Health Sciences Center in Houston and was appointed director of the residency training program.
Dr. Rogers returned to Northwestern University Medical School in 1974 as a professor and chair of the Department of Radiology, where he remained for 21 years. In 1995, he became an I. Meschan Distinguished Professor of Radiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and served as editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Roentgenology until 2004. Dr. Rogers currently works as a clinical professor of radiology at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson.
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RSNA is an association of more than 42,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)