RSNA Meeting Program Dedicated to Hussey, Palmer
RSNA is dedicating the Meeting Program of its 99th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting to the memory of former RSNA President David H. Hussey, M.D., an internationally respected radiation oncologist, and Philip E. S. Palmer, M.D., a pioneer in promoting the use of radiology and radiation therapy in Africa and developing countries.
Dr. Hussey died April 17, 2013, at the age of 75. Dr. Palmer died January 3, 2013, at the age of 91.
Born the son of an Illinois doctor, Dr. Hussey rose to prominence serving as director of the Fast Neutron Therapy Program for the University of Texas MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute from 1969 to 1983. Dr. Hussey's research included the clinical evaluation of fast neutron therapy using the Texas A&M Variable Energy Cyclotron, as well as refinement of conventional radiation therapy techniques. Dr. Hussey served for 15 years as director of the Division of Radiation Oncology at the University of Iowa before returning to Texas in 2001 to join the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where he remained until his 2006 retirement.
Although his practice covered a broad range of neoplasms, Dr. Hussey is perhaps best remembered for his investigations in testicular, prostate and head and neck cancer. Dr. Hussey always had a special interest in graduate medical education and attracted many of the radiation oncology leaders of today into the field.
Dr. Hussey used his position as an internationally respected radiation oncologist to effectively advocate for closer collaboration between diagnostic radiology and radiation oncology—a theme he emphasized during his term as 2005 RSNA President. As president of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO, now the American Society for Radiation Oncology), Dr. Hussey led efforts to develop a radiation oncology maintenance of certification program within ASTRO. As a trustee of the American Board of Radiology, Dr. Hussey contributed significantly to the recertification examination in radiation oncology and the effort to computerize oral and written examinations. Among many other distinguished honors, Dr. Hussey received the RSNA Gold Medal in 2010.
"David Hussey was one of the most broad-based, and solid, clinical investigators in our field," said 2013 RSNA President Sarah S. Donaldson, M.D. "He served as a role model to many of us, leading by example, and teaching the importance of integrating diagnostic imaging with oncology to further advance precision radiology."
Born in London as the son and grandson of physicians, Philip E. S. Palmer, M.D. attended medical school at the University of London and became a surgeon at Westminster Hospital where he went onto become senior medical officer, registrar and the first surgical assistant in radiotherapy.
Dr. Palmer's emigration to Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) with his family in 1954 marked the beginning of some of his greatest contributions to radiology. He developed X-ray imaging services in rural areas and introduced advanced techniques in Bulawayo, the country's second largest city. While chairman of radiology at the University of Cape Town, Dr. Palmer revised postgraduate training, renovated the radiology departments of the university's major hospitals, and became an internationally recognized invited speaker.
In 1970, Dr. Palmer was invited to become the first radiology department chair at the University of California (UC), Davis, Sacramento, also serving as director of diagnostic radiology and an emeritus professor of radiology. Dr. Palmer remained at UC Davis until his retirement in 1990.
Dr. Palmer joined other global radiology pioneers at a 1975 meeting organized by the Pan American Health Organization/Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) to devise a system to make high-quality X-ray imaging services available to the underserved around the world. For the next 40 years, Dr. Palmer assisted WHO and its regional offices.
"Dr. Palmer was decades ahead of his time with his international collaborations and involvement with physicians, particularly radiologists worldwide," Dr. Donaldson said. "The RSNA international efforts today are, in large part, patterned after the service and practice of Dr. Palmer more than half a century ago."