Ronald Arenson, MD

Emeritus Professor
Professor Emeritus


Ronald Arenson, MD, served as the Chairman of the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California San Francisco from 1992-2017. He received his BA in Mathematics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and he obtained his MD from New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York.

From 1963 to 1970, Dr. Arenson was a systems engineer for IBM. After serving in the Navy at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, he joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1976. At the University Pennsylvania, he served as the Associate Chairman of Clinical Services in Department of Radiology, where he also served as the interim Vice-Provost for Computing and President of the Medical Staff.

Dr. Arenson has conducted research and written extensively on Radiology Information Systems, Picture Archival, and Communication Systems. His special interests include picture archival and communication systems, workload and finances in radiology, the future of academic radiology and research training. He is a fellow in the American College of Medical Informatics, the American College of Radiology, and the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine.

In 2015, Dr. Arenson had the honor of serving as the 100th President for the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). He recently finished his term on both the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and the NIH Council of Councils. He has served as the President of the Association of University Radiologists, the Society of Chairman of Academic Radiology Departments, the Board of GE-Radiology Research Academic Fellowship (GERRAF) and the Academy of Radiology Research. He is the past President of the medical staff at UCSF, and also the past Chairman of the Credentials Committee. Dr. Arenson was the recipient of the UCSF Holly Smith Award for faculty in 2017, awarded for his outstanding service to the School of Medicine, the Campus and the Medical Center.


Computer technology, PACS, RAD13

Professional Interests:
PACS, medical informatics, clinical productivity, departmental management, computers, applications of computer technology to imaging

Education and Training:
• Medical School: New York Medical College, New York
• Internship: Beth Israel Medical Center, New York
• Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston - Diagnostic Radiology
• Diplomate of National Board of Medical Examiners
• Diagnostic Radiology, American Board of Radiology

Honors and Awards

Holly Smith Award for Exceptional Service to the School of Medicine, UCSF, 2017
Honorary Membership, European Society of Radiology, 2016
President, The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Board of Directors, 2015-2016
President-Elect, The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Board of Directors, 2013
Gold Medal, Association of University Radiologists, 2013
Inaugural Guest Speaker, Stanford CME Radiology Grand Rounds, 2011
Seymour Oschner Radiology Lectureship, Oschner Health System, New Orleans, LA, 2011
Keynote Speaker, AUR-Philips Academic Faculty Development Program, San Diego, CA, 2010
Inaugural Theodore J. Castele Lecturer, Case Western Reserve University, 2010
Keynote Speaker, American Board of Radiology Foundation Summit, 2010
Keynote Speaker, Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine, 2008
Keynote Speaker, Radiological Society of North America, 2007
Hodes Lecture, Thomas Jefferson University, 2005
Keynote Speaker, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, 2004
Aubrey O. Hampton Lecturer, Massachusetts General Hospital, 2003
Alumni Medal of Honor, New York Medical College, 2001
Keynote Address, Symposium for Computer Applications in Radiology, Philadelphia, PA, 2000
Sosman Lecture, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, 1996
Fellow, American College of Radiology, 1988
Fellow, American College of Medical Informatics, 1987
RISC Award, Radiology Information Systems, 1985
Outstanding Leadership and Distinguished service as Chairman of the Management Committee, University of California, San Francisco, 1981-1984


Glastonbury CM, Wall SD, Arenson RL. Gender Issues Persist in Academic Radiology Promotions. Radiology. 2017 Apr; 283(1):4-6.
Lillaney PV, Yang JK, Losey AD, Martin AJ, Cooke DL, Thorne BR, Barry DC, Chu A, Stillson C, Do L, Arenson RL, Saeed M, Wilson MW, Hetts SW. Endovascular MR-guided Renal Embolization by Using a Magnetically Assisted Remote-controlled Catheter System. Radiology. 2016 Oct; 281(1):219-28.
Arenson RL. 2015 RSNA Outstanding Researcher. Radiology. 2015 Dec; 277(3):625-6.
Greco G, Patel AS, Lewis SC, Shi W, Rasul R, Torosyan M, Erickson BJ, Hiremath A, Moskowitz AJ, Tellis WM, Siegel EL, Arenson RL, Mendelson DS. Patient-directed Internet-based Medical Image Exchange: Experience from an Initial Multicenter Implementation. Acad Radiol. 2016 Feb; 23(2):237-44.
Hricak H, Ringertz HG, Thrall JH, Dixon AK, Arenson RL, Bradley WG, Muellner A, Krestin GP. When Vision Prevails: A History of the International Society for Strategic Studies in Radiology. J Am Coll Radiol. 2015 Oct; 12(10):1112-4.
Moftakhar P, Lillaney P, Losey AD, Cooke DL, Martin AJ, Thorne BR, Arenson RL, Saeed M, Wilson MW, Hetts SW. New-Generation Laser-lithographed Dual-Axis Magnetically Assisted Remote-controlled Endovascular Catheter for Interventional MR Imaging: In Vitro Multiplanar Navigation at 1.5 T and 3 T versus X-ray Fluoroscopy. Radiology. 2015 Dec; 277(3):842-52.
Martin AJ, Lillaney P, Saeed M, Losey AD, Settecase F, Evans L, Arenson RL, Wilson MW, Hetts SW. Digital subtraction MR angiography roadmapping for magnetic steerable catheter tracking. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2015 Apr; 41(4):1157-62.
Losey AD, Lillaney P, Martin AJ, Cooke DL, Wilson MW, Thorne BR, Sincic RS, Arenson RL, Saeed M, Hetts SW. Magnetically assisted remote-controlled endovascular catheter for interventional MR imaging: in vitro navigation at 1.5 T versus X-ray fluoroscopy. Radiology. 2014 Jun; 271(3):862-9.
Morgan TA, Avrin DE, Carr CD, Dreyer KJ, Flanders AE, Khorasani R, Langlotz CP, Arenson RL. Meaningful use for radiology: current status and future directions. Radiology. 2013 Nov; 269(2):318-21.
Hetts SW, Saeed M, Martin AJ, Evans L, Bernhardt AF, Malba V, Settecase F, Do L, Yee EJ, Losey A, Sincic R, Lillaney P, Roy S, Arenson RL, Wilson MW. Endovascular catheter for magnetic navigation under MR imaging guidance: evaluation of safety in vivo at 1.5T. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2013 Nov-Dec; 34(11):2083-91.
Wilson MW, Martin AB, Lillaney P, Losey AD, Yee EJ, Bernhardt A, Malba V, Evans L, Sincic R, Saeed M, Arenson RL, Hetts SW. Magnetic catheter manipulation in the interventional MR imaging environment. J Vasc Interv Radiol. 2013 Jun; 24(6):885-91.
Hetts SW, Saeed M, Martin A, Lillaney P, Losey A, Yee EJ, Sincic R, Do L, Evans L, Malba V, Bernhardt AF, Wilson MW, Patel A, Arenson RL, Caton C, Cooke DL. Magnetically-Assisted Remote Controlled Microcatheter Tip Deflection under Magnetic Resonance Imaging. J Vis Exp. 2013 Apr 04; (74).
Coakley FV, Gould R, Yeh BM, Arenson RL. CT radiation dose: what can you do right now in your practice? AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2011 Mar; 196(3):619-25.
Settecase F, Hetts SW, Martin AJ, Roberts TP, Bernhardt AF, Evans L, Malba V, Saeed M, Arenson RL, Kucharzyk W, Wilson MW. RF Heating of MRI-Assisted Catheter Steering Coils for Interventional MRI. Acad Radiol. 2011 Mar; 18(3):277-85.
Bernhardt A, Wilson MW, Settecase F, Evans L, Malba V, Martin AJ, Saeed M, Roberts TP, Arenson RL, Hetts SW. Steerable catheter microcoils for interventional MRI reducing resistive heating. Acad Radiol. 2011 Mar; 18(3):270-6.
Seltzer SE, Menard A, Cruea R, Arenson R. "Hyperscrutiny" of academic-industrial relationships: potential for unintended consequences--a response. J Am Coll Radiol. 2010 Jan; 7(1):39-42.
Arenson RL. Recommendations for additional imaging in radiology reports: radiologists' self-referral or good clinical practice? Radiology. 2009 Nov; 253(2):291-2.
Lu Y, Zhao S, Chu PW, Arenson RL. An update survey of academic radiologists' clinical productivity. J Am Coll Radiol. 2008 Jul; 5(7):817-26.
Metter D, Harolds J, Rumack CM, Relyea-Chew A, Arenson R. The disruptive professional case scenarios. Acad Radiol. 2008 Apr; 15(4):494-500.
Settecase F, Sussman MS, Wilson MW, Hetts S, Arenson RL, Malba V, Bernhardt AF, Kucharczyk W, Roberts TP. Magnetically-assisted remote control (MARC) steering of endovascular catheters for interventional MRI: a model for deflection and design implications. Med Phys. 2007 Aug; 34(8):3135-42.
Ehman RL, Hendee WR, Welch MJ, Dunnick NR, Bresolin LB, Arenson RL, Baum S, Hricak H, Thrall JH. Blueprint for imaging in biomedical research. Radiology. 2007 Jul; 244(1):12-27.
Dunnick NR, Applegate KE, Arenson RL. Quality--a radiology imperative: report of the 2006 Intersociety Conference. J Am Coll Radiol. 2007 Mar; 4(3):156-61.
Arenson R, Dunnick NR. Training a better radiologist. J Am Coll Radiol. 2006 Jun; 3(6):389-93.
Dunnick NR, Applegate K, Arenson R, Levin D. Training for the future of radiology: a report of the 2005 Intersociety Conference. J Am Coll Radiol. 2006 May; 3(5):319-24.
Lu Y, Arenson RL. The academic radiologist's clinical productivity: an update. Acad Radiol. 2005 Sep; 12(9):1211-23.
Dunnick NR, Applegate KE, Arenson RL. The inappropriate use of imaging studies: a report of the 2004 Intersociety Conference. J Am Coll Radiol. 2005 May; 2(5):401-6.
Andriole KP, Morin RL, Arenson RL, Carrino JA, Erickson BJ, Horii SC, Piraino DW, Reiner BI, Seibert JA, Siegel E. Addressing the coming radiology crisis-the Society for Computer Applications in Radiology transforming the radiological interpretation process (TRIP) initiative. J Digit Imaging. 2004 Dec; 17(4):235-43.
Avrin DE, Arenson RL. infoRAD 2004: why you need informatics education at RSNA 2004. Radiographics. 2004 Sep-Oct; 24(5):1491-2.
Arenson RL. National radiology fellowship match program: success or failure? J Am Coll Radiol. 2004 Mar; 1(3):188-91.
Arenson R. Creative approach to financing a PACS. Acad Radiol. 2004 Jan; 11(1):1-3.
Avrin DE, Arenson RL. Informatics at RSNA 2003: evolution and maturation on all fronts. Radiographics. 2003 Sep-Oct; 23(5):1115-6.
Arenson RL, Chakraborty DP, Seshadri SB, Kundel HL. The digital imaging workstation. 1990. J Digit Imaging. 2003 Mar; 16(1):142-62; discussion 141.
Seshadri SB, Arenson R, Khalsa S, Brikman I, van der Voorde F. Prototype medical image management system (MIMS) at the University of Pennsylvania: software design considerations. 1987. J Digit Imaging. 2003 Mar; 16(1):96-102; discussion 95.
Roberts TP, Hassenzahl WV, Hetts SW, Arenson RL. Remote control of catheter tip deflection: an opportunity for interventional MRI. Magn Reson Med. 2002 Dec; 48(6):1091-5.
Avrin DE, Arenson RL. Avoiding unread images with PACS. Acad Radiol. 2002 Nov; 9(11):1331-2.
Arenson RL, Dunnick NR, Hillman BJ. Time for change: new emphasis on training for radiology research. Acad Radiol. 2002 Jun; 9(6):695-9.
Wong ST, Hoo KS, Knowlton RC, Laxer KD, Cao X, Hawkins RA, Dillon WP, Arenson RL. Design and applications of a multimodality image data warehouse framework. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2002 May-Jun; 9(3):239-54.
Van Nguyen A, Avrin DE, Tellis WM, Andriole KP, Arenson RL. What Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) could look like in common object request broker (CORBA) and extensible markup language (XML). J Digit Imaging. 2001 Jun; 14(2 Suppl 1):89-91.
Arenson RL, Lu Y, Elliott SC, Jovais C, Avrin DE. Measuring the academic radiologist's clinical productivity: applying RVU adjustment factors. Acad Radiol. 2001 Jun; 8(6):533-40.
Arenson RL, Lu Y, Elliott SC, Jovais C, Avrin DE. Measuring the academic radiologist's clinical productivity: survey results for subspecialty sections. Acad Radiol. 2001 Jun; 8(6):524-32.
Avrin DE, Andriole KP, Yin L, Gould RG, Arenson RL. A hierarchical storage management (HSM) scheme for cost-effective on-line archival using lossy compression. J Digit Imaging. 2001 Mar; 14(1):18-23.
Arenson RL, Andriole KP, Avrin DE, Gould RG. Computers in imaging and health care: now and in the future. J Digit Imaging. 2000 Nov; 13(4):145-56.
Avrin DE, Andriole KP, Yin L, Gould R, Arenson RL. Simulation of disaster recovery of a picture archiving and communications system using off-site hierarchal storage management. J Digit Imaging. 2000 May; 13(2 Suppl 1):168-70.
Andriole KP, Avrin DE, Yin L, Gould RG, Luth DM, Arenson RL. Relevant priors prefetching algorithm performance for a picture archiving and communication system. J Digit Imaging. 2000 May; 13(2 Suppl 1):73-5.
Andriole KP, Avrin DE, Yin L, Gould RG, Arenson RL. PACS databases and enrichment of the folder manager concept. J Digit Imaging. 2000 Feb; 13(1):3-12.
Arenson RL. PACS: current status and cost-effectiveness. Eur Radiol. 2000; 10 Suppl 3:S354-6.
Arenson RL. A different perspective on the radiologist's involvement in management. Acad Radiol. 1999 May; 6(5):314-6.
Arenson RL. The electronic transformation of radiology: commentary. Radiology. 1998 Dec; 209(3):609-10.
Andriole KP, Gould RG, Avrin DE, Bazzill TM, Yin L, Arenson RL. Continuing quality improvement procedures for a clinical PACS. J Digit Imaging. 1998 Aug; 11(3 Suppl 1):111-4.
Tellis WM, Andriole KP, Avrin DE, Arenson RL. Web technology in the integration of a digital teaching file at the diagnostic workstation. J Digit Imaging. 1998 Aug; 11(3 Suppl 1):117-9.
Ghosh S, Andriole KP, Avrin DE, Arenson RL. Optimization of a low-cost truly preemptive multitasking PC diagnostic workstation. J Digit Imaging. 1997 Aug; 10(3 Suppl 1):171-4.
Arenson RL, Burnside ES. Merrill C. Sosman Lecture. Surviving managed care. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1997 Jul; 169(1):3-10.
Arenson RL. The practice of medicine and radiology in 2020. Radiology. 1997 May; 203(2):43A-46A.
Huang HK, Andriole K, Bazzill T, Lou SL, Wong AW, Arenson RL. Design and implementation of a picture archiving and communication system: the second time. J Digit Imaging. 1996 May; 9(2):47-59.
Lou SL, Huang HK, Arenson RL. Workstation design. Image manipulation, image set handling, and display issues. Radiol Clin North Am. 1996 May; 34(3):525-44.
Arenson RL, Burnside ES, Avrin DE, Gould RG, Huang HK, Marco RP. Cost benefits of picture archiving and communications systems. Acad Radiol. 1996 Apr; 3 Suppl 1:S72-4.
Hricak H, Yu KK, Powell CB, Subak LL, Stem J, Arenson RL. Comparison of diagnostic studies in the pretreatment evaluation of stage Ib carcinoma of the cervix. Acad Radiol. 1996 Apr; 3 Suppl 1:S44-6.
Hricak H, Powell CB, Yu KK, Washington E, Subak LL, Stern JL, Cisternas MG, Arenson RL. Invasive cervical carcinoma: role of MR imaging in pretreatment work-up--cost minimization and diagnostic efficacy analysis. Radiology. 1996 Feb; 198(2):403-9.
Huang HK, Arenson RL, Dillon WP, Lou SL, Bazzill T, Wong AW. Asynchronous transfer mode technology for radiologic image communication. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1995 Jun; 164(6):1533-6.
Wong ST, Huang HK, Goldstein RB, Arenson R, Cruz JC, Ostrow K, Gerson E. A paradigm for computer-assisted radiology resident rotation scheduling. Acad Radiol. 1995 Jun; 2(6):533-40.
Becker SH, Arenson RL. Costs and benefits of picture archiving and communication systems. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 1994 Sep-Oct; 1(5):361-71.
Wong AW, Huang HK, Arenson RL, Lee JK. Digital archive system for radiologic images. Radiographics. 1994 Sep; 14(5):1119-26.
Seshadri SB, Arenson RL, Kundel HL, Feingold E, Kishore S, Horii SC, Stevens JF, Lanken PN. High-resolution image workstation for intensive care units. Radiographics. 1994 Jul; 14(4):863-73.
Huang HK, Arenson RL, Lou SL, Wong AW, Andriole KP, Bazzill TM, Avrin D. Multimedia in the radiology environment: current concept. Comput Med Imaging Graph. 1994 Jan-Feb; 18(1):1-10.
Huang HK, Arenson RL. Multimedia demands integrated databases. Diagn Imaging (San Franc). 1993 Nov; 15(11):147-51, 159-61.
Arenson RL. Picture archiving and communication systems in the United States. Curr Opin Radiol. 1992 Oct; 4(5):11-5.
Seshadri SB, Arenson RL. The impact of PACS on research and education. Int J Biomed Comput. 1992 May; 30(3-4):263-6.
Seshadri SB, Kishore S, Arenson RL. Software suite for image archiving and retrieval. Radiographics. 1992 Mar; 12(2):357-63.
Arenson RL. Picture archiving and communication systems. West J Med. 1992 Mar; 156(3):298-9.
Kundel HL, Seshadri SB, Arenson RL. Clinical experience with PACS at the University of Pennsylvania. Comput Med Imaging Graph. 1991 May-Jun; 15(3):197-200.
Arenson RL, Dwyer SJ, Huang HK, Kundel HL, Seshadri SB. Computer applications and digital imaging. Radiology. 1991 Mar; 178(3):913-4.
Arenson RL, Chakraborty DP, Seshadri SB, Kundel HL. The digital imaging workstation. Radiology. 1990 Aug; 176(2):303-15.
Wolf GL, Arenson RL, Cross AP. A prospective trial of ionic vs nonionic contrast agents in routine clinical practice: comparison of adverse effects. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1989 May; 152(5):939-44.
Sheline ME, Brikman I, Epstein DM, Mezrich JL, Kundel HL, Arenson RL. The diagnosis of pulmonary nodules: comparison between standard and inverse digitized images and conventional chest radiographs. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1989 Feb; 152(2):261-3.
Arenson R. Why bother with a computerized scheduling system? J Digit Imaging. 1988 Nov; 1(1):24-7.
Arenson RL. Opportunity ahead. Radiology. 1988 Oct; 169(1):267-8.
De Simone DN, Kundel HL, Arenson RL, Seshadri SB, Brikman IS, Khalsa SS, Davey MJ, Brisbon NE. Effect of a digital imaging network on physician behavior in an intensive care unit. Radiology. 1988 Oct; 169(1):41-4.
Coleman BG, Arger PH, Grumbach K, Menard MK, Mintz MC, Allen KS, Arenson RL, Lamon KA. Transvaginal and transabdominal sonography: prospective comparison. Radiology. 1988 Sep; 168(3):639-43.
Cox GG, Arenson RL, Bosco HL. Current status of radiology image management systems. Invest Radiol. 1988 Sep; 23(9):656-63.
Arenson RL, van der Voorde F, Stevens JF. Improved financial management of the radiology department with a microcosting system. Radiology. 1988 Jan; 166(1 Pt 1):255-9.
Arenson RL, Seshadri SB, Kundel HL, DeSimone D, Van der Voorde F, Gefter WB, Epstein DM, Miller WT, Aronchick JM, Simson MB. Clinical evaluation of a medical image management system for chest images. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1988 Jan; 150(1):55-9.
Kundel HL, Mezrich JL, Brickman I, Siegel R, Miller WT, Epstein DM, Gefter WB, Arenson RL, Seshadri SB, Khalsa S. Digital chest imaging: comparison of two film image digitizers with a classification task. Radiology. 1987 Dec; 165(3):747-52.
Coleman BG, Grumbach K, Arger PH, Mintz MC, Arenson RL, Mennuti M, Gabbe SG. Twin gestations: monitoring of complications and anomalies with US. Radiology. 1987 Nov; 165(2):449-53.
Seshadri SB, Arenson RL, van der Voorde F, Khalsa S, Kundel HL, Brikman I. Design of a medical image management system: a practical cost-effective approach. Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 1987 Sep-Oct; 25(2):185-92.
Lev-Toaff AS, Coleman BG, Arger PH, Mintz MC, Arenson RL, Toaff ME. Leiomyomas in pregnancy: sonographic study. Radiology. 1987 Aug; 164(2):375-80.
Arenson RL. Teaching with computers. Radiol Clin North Am. 1986 Mar; 24(1):97-103.
Arenson RL. Office automation. Radiol Clin North Am. 1986 Mar; 24(1):87-95.
Arger PH, Coleman BG, Mintz MC, Snyder HP, Camardese T, Arenson RL, Gabbe SG, Aquino L. Routine fetal genitourinary tract screening. Radiology. 1985 Aug; 156(2):485-9.
Arenson RL. All-digital film archive. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1985 Jun; 144(6):1318-9.
Radecki PD, Arger PH, Arenson RL, Jennings AS, Coleman BG, Mintz MC, Kressel HY. Thyroid imaging: comparison of high-resolution real-time ultrasound and computed tomography. Radiology. 1984 Oct; 153(1):145-7.
Arenson RL. Automation of the radiology management function. Radiology. 1984 Oct; 153(1):65-8.
Arger PH, Mulhern CB, Coleman BG, Pollack HM, Wein A, Koss J, Arenson R, Banner M. Prospective analysis of the value of scrotal ultrasound. Radiology. 1981 Dec; 141(3):763-6.
Coleman BG, Arger PH, Mulhern CB, Pollack HM, Banner MP, Arenson RL. Gray-scale sonographic spectrum of hypernephromas. Radiology. 1980 Dec; 137(3):757-65.
Arenson RL. Radiology management: the advantages of the dedicated mini-computer. Radiology. 1979 Nov; 133(2):541-3.
Arenson RL, London JW. Comprehensive analysis of a Radiology Operations Management computer system. Radiology. 1979 Nov; 133(2):355-62.