Mount Sinai’s first x-ray machine was purchased in 1900 and was set up in the synagogue, a portion of which had already been converted to an operating room. Eugene H. Eising, who was House Surgeon at the time, took the first x-ray plate. He along with Walter Brickner became the first radiographers appointed to the Hospital.
Leopold Jaches replaced Brickner in 1908, and as Chief at Mount Sinai, the Department grows “from small beginnings into a large diagnostic and therapeutic institute.” By 1909, the rest of the Hospital was beginning to realize the importance and utility of radiology. As a reflection of this growing importance, the Department moved into larger quarters in the basement of the medical building the following year.
Scientific Achievements in Radiology
The 1920s were marked by a series of scientific achievements by members of the Department, including:
- An x-ray unit was installed in the operating room to permit visualization of the kidneys during the removal of kidney stones
- Mount Sinai’s own Moses Swick formulated Uroselectan, which permitted the visualization and examination of the urinary tract without cystoscopy. This compound led the way for later advances in the visualization of the heart, vascular system and brain.
- The radiologist Arthur Bendick assisted Isidor C. Rubin, of the Department of Gynecology, with his pioneer work in the visualization of the uterus and the fallopian tubes.
By the 1930s, Mount Sinai’s Radiology Department made major advancements in academia. The internship in radiology at Mount Sinai was recognized as part of the course required for the degree of Doctor in Medical Sciences in Radiology at Columbia University.
Additionally in the 1930s, Marcy L. Sussman became Chief of the Department, performing the first angiocardiogram at Mount Sinai. Sussman served as Chief for ten years and was responsible for training several of the outstanding radiologists of the future, including Bernard S. Wolf, who would succeed Sussman when Sussman resigned his position in 1949.
Under the leadership of Wolf, the Department obtained international recognition. Wolf was able to attract a group of individuals whose productivity as both full-time and voluntary staff radiologists became the envy of many far larger radiology departments. Richard H. Marshak and Mansho Khilnani also were dominant figures in radiology and often collaborated with Wolf.
John E. Moseley served Mount Sinai for four decades (1943—1983) as its first pediatric radiologist. He was internationally recognized for his expertise in bone radiology. For decades, Charles Newman and Claude Bloch, associates in practice, were invaluable members of the Department. Bloch edited “Radiologic Notes” in the Mount Sinai journals for a number of years; Newman, who would endow a Professorial Chair in the Department, was another superb teacher of students and residents.