Ronald Arenson, MD

Professor Emeritus
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. Dr. Arenson was awarded the 2020 RSNA Gold Medal for his visionary work leading the early implementation of Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) in radiology.


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

William Cullen Award, New York Medical College, 2020
Gold Medal, The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), 2020
Gold Medal Award, Academy of Radiology Research, 2018
Gold Medal Award, Int. Society of Strategic Studies in Radiology, 2017
Visionary Leadership Award, Society of Chairman of Academic Radiology Departments, 2017
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
Gold Medal, Association of University Radiologists, 2013
President-Elect, The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Board of Directors, 2013
Seymour Oschner Radiology Lectureship, Oschner Health System, New Orleans, LA, 2011
Inaugural Guest Speaker, Stanford CME Radiology Grand Rounds, 2011
Keynote Speaker, AUR-Philips Academic Faculty Development Program, San Diego, CA, 2010
Keynote Speaker, American Board of Radiology Foundation Summit, 2010
Inaugural Theodore J. Castele Lecturer, Case Western Reserve University, 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


Arenson RL. Imaging from Hospital Profit Center to Cost Center. Radiology. 2023 03; 306(3):e222266.
Bucknor MD, Villanueva-Meyer JE, Kumar V, Talbott JF, Wall SD, Glastonbury CM, Dillon WP, Arenson RL, Wilson MW, Hess CP. Diversity and Inclusion Efforts in University of California, San Francisco Radiology: Reflections on 3 Years of Pipeline, Selection, and Education Initiatives. J Am Coll Radiol. 2019 Dec; 16(12):1716-1719.
Arenson RL. Building a Better Online Portal for Patients to Obtain Radiologic Results. Radiology. 2019 01; 290(1):144-145.
Arenson RL. Factors Affecting Interpretative Accuracy: How Can We Reduce Errors? Radiology. 2018 04; 287(1):213-214.
Glastonbury CM, Wall SD, Arenson RL. Gender Issues Persist in Academic Radiology Promotions. Radiology. 2017 04; 283(1):4-6.
Brink JA, Arenson RL, Grist TM, Lewin JS, Enzmann D. Bits and bytes: the future of radiology lies in informatics and information technology. Eur Radiol. 2017 Sep; 27(9):3647-3651.
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 10; 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.
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, SCAR TRIP Subcommittee, TRIP Subcommittee. 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.
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.
Arenson RL, Chakraborty DP, Seshadri SB, Kundel HL. The digital imaging workstation. 1990. J Digit Imaging. 2003 Mar; 16(1):142-62; discussion 141.