The International Day of Radiology is observed every year to recognize the crucial role radiologists play in healthcare.

Medical imaging includes diagnosis with the help of x- rays, MRI scans, ultrasounds, etc. Everyone has heard of these diagnostic methods but only a few are aware of the importance of their contributions. Hence the International Day of Radiology is held to not only acknowledge radiologists but also to make the common man aware of the very important contributions of this field.

November 8 is chosen as the International Day of Radiology, the day Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered the existence of x-rays in 1895.


Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was born on March 27, 1845, at Lennep in the Lower Rhine Province of Germany. Röntgen’s work on cathode rays led him to discover a new and different kind of rays, that he called x-rays.

On the evening of November 8, 1895, he found that if a discharge tube was enclosed in a sealed, thick black carton to exclude all light, a paper plate covered on one side with barium platinocyanide placed in the path of the rays became fluorescent.

When he immobilized the hand of his wife in the path of the rays over a photographic plate, he observed after development of the plate an image of his wife’s hand which showed the shadows thrown by the bones of her hand and that of a ring she was wearing, surrounded by the penumbra of the flesh, which was more permeable to the rays and therefore threw a fainter shadow. This was the first ‘röntgenogram’ ever taken.

Because the nature of the rays was then unknown, he gave them the name x-rays.

Radiologists are invaluable to any medical team; their work demands them to be highly qualified with high standards of professionalism. The credit for establishing this day goes to the European Society of Radiology (ESR), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR). They were supported in this by the International Society of Radiology (ISR) and its associate organizations in various continents.

IDoR was first introduced in 2012 and celebrated annually. In addition to the general recognition of radiology, a theme is chosen every year, focusing on various specialties and sub-specialties of radiology. These themes have included:

2012: Oncologic Imaging

2013: Thoracic Imaging

2014: Brain Imaging

2015: Paediatric Imaging

2016: Breast Imaging

2017: Emergency Imaging

2018: Cardiac Imaging

2019: Sports Imaging


In 2020, the International Day of Radiology is dedicated to all imaging professionals and their essential role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic making an indispensable contribution to the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients.

This is a difficult time for the whole world as the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic affects many areas of our lives. In challenging times like these, hope can be a powerful force for change and a compelling source of reassurance. The tireless and tremendous efforts and dedication of medical staff in fighting the pandemic gives everyone hope.

For IDoR 2020, the motto is “Radiologists and radiographers supporting patients during COVID-19”.

Let us all celebrate the critical role that medical imaging has played during the current crisis.Medical professionals across the world need to pause for a moment, look back at the hard work and the challenges imaging departments across the world have faced over the past months and recognize their contributions in the care of COVID-19 patients.

Reference –


Dr. KanagasabaiKamalasekar
M.B.B.S., D.M.R.D., D.N.B.(RD)
Consultant Radiologist
Kauvery Hospital, Chennai