A Personal History of Nuclear Medicine

November 1, 2006 -- A Personal History of Nuclear Medicine by Henry N. Wagner, Jr.
Springer, New York City, 2006, $159

Dr. Henry Wagner is a legend in nuclear medicine. He is a pioneer in the field and has done more to advance the medical specialty than anyone else. This wonderful book offers a history of nuclear medicine through the eyes of one of its most influential ambassadors.

Dr Wagner spent most of his career at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and his numerous awards, lectures, and publications are a testament to his career-long dedication to nuclear medicine. His enthusiasm for molecular imaging inspired me into the specialty in 1978.

The autobiography begins with Wagner reflecting on his childhood and family, sharing many personal anecdotes about growing up in Baltimore. He also recounts how World War II and the Korean War left lasting impressions on him during his high school, college, and medical school days.

Describing his professional path, Wagner discusses his decision to pursue a career in clinical research, which ultimately led to his lifelong study of radioisotopes in medicine. The chapter, "A New Medical Specialty," summarizes the evolution of imaging from x-ray to PET.

Wagner also offers his various perspectives on the revolution that ultimately established nuclear medicine. For example, there is Wagner's academic period at Johns Hopkins during which he trained introduced a new generation of students to molecular imaging. There is also the political perspective, with Wagner persistently seeking respect for the field.  

Dr. Wagner shares his time in the field as a mentor, clinician, research and teacher. Through personal and professional experiences, he gives the reader a unique perspective on an ever-evolving field that is special to many people and a mystery to most.

Throughout A Personal History of Nuclear Medicine, Dr. Wagner's love for education and research comes through. This book is a true gift to anyone who works in the molecular imaging field or aspires to do so in the future.

By Ray Deininger
AuntMinnie.com contributing writer
November 1, 2006

Ray Deininger, CNMT, is a 25-year nuclear medicine veteran. He has practiced clinical nuclear medicine at several hospitals, worked for several equipment vendors, and owned his own nuclear medicine software company. He currently works for a cardiology practice in Tucson, AZ.

The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of AuntMinnie.com.

Copyright © 2006 AuntMinnie.com

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