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ENGS 7: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on Medical Imaging (ENGS 7.05)


21S: 12



This course is available only as part of the First-Year Seminar Program.

Medical imaging has evolved significantly over the last 100 years and has transformed modern medical practice to the extent that very few clinical decisions are made without relying on information obtained with contemporary imaging modalities. The future of medical imaging may be even more promising as new technologies are being developed to observe the structural, functional, and molecular characteristics of tissues at finer and finer spatial scales. This first-year seminar will review the historical development of modern radiographic imaging and discuss the basic physical principles behind common approaches such as CT, ultrasound, and MRI. Contemporary issues surrounding the use of imaging to screen for disease, the costs to the healthcare system of routine application of advanced imaging technology, and the benefits of the information provided by medical imaging in terms of evidence-based outcomes assessment will be explored. Students will be required to read, present, and discuss materials in class and write position papers articulating and/or defending particular perspectives on the historical development of medical imaging and its contemporary and/or future uses and benefits. Enrollment is limited to 16 students.