In Memorandum

Dr. David C. Levin, Professor and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Radiology at Thomas Jefferson University, passed away unexpectedly on January 15, 2020 at the age of 85 years.

Dr. Levin had a distinguished career in Radiology for over four decades. He was still working tirelessly in the department doing health services research, mentoring young radiologists and pursuing his passion for cardiac and coronary artery imaging. The devastating news of his loss came as a shock since he was the epitome of vivacity and good health.

Dr. Levin became interested in medicine while serving as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He subsequently attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University and did his radiology residency at the UCLA Medical Center. He then held successive faculty positions at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Downstate Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. At Harvard, he was Head of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, when he was appointed Acting Chairman of that department.

In 1986, he came to Jefferson as Professor and Chairman of its Department of Radiology, a post he held until he retired in 2002. However, he never really retired.

In his semi–retirement, he became a dedicated, passionate health services radiology researcher. This was his hobby, as he called it, and he put our department on the national scene in this area. He ardently mentored students, residents, fellows, junior faculty and others.

Dr. Levin served as President of the Society of Chairmen of Academic Radiology Departments, Chairman of the Council on Cardiovascular Radiology of the American Heart Association, and on the editorial boards of six leading radiology journals. In research, he had published 314 papers and 362 abstracts and given 670 presentations at national meetings or as an invited lecturer at other institutions. Among these are 27 named or special lectures around the country and abroad.

His research interests included cardiac and vascular imaging and interventions, and over the past two decades, he focused on economic issues in radiology. In the radiology community, he was a household name as a champion of appropriate use of imaging and promoting radiologists as the most qualified physicians to perform imaging. Year after year, he looked forward to presenting his work and giving refresher courses at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Dr. Levin had received the Gold Medals (the highest honors) of the American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America, Association of University Radiologists, American Roentgen Ray Society, and the Society of Interventional Radiology.

David was very proud of his time in the U.S.  Air Force and flew the F-86 Sabre jet. He recently recounted those heroic stories in a book that is nearing publication. He has made many analogies of similar qualities that served him well, both as a fighter pilot and a physician leader.

A respected thought leader, a giant in the field, tour de force of a man, his research has helped shape the future direction of our specialty. He was brilliant, forceful, ethical, honest, direct and helpful. The radiology community and the Jefferson Department of Radiology mourn the loss of an influential and inspirational leader, an awesome mentor, educator, and a role model.  He had touched many lives and mentored future leaders. For many of us, more importantly he was a dear friend.

Jefferson Radiology department is grateful for his long and distinguished service for over 30 years.  We will miss him. His extraordinary legacy will live on forever.

David is survived by his wife Carol, three accomplished children and two grandchildren.