Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Chair's Message


Dear Colleagues:

In preparing to write my inaugural column for Contrast, I turned to the etymology of “radiation.” The word comes from 15th-century Middle French and has numerous associations: radius meaning “beam of light” or “spoke of a wheel.” It is related to the Latin radix, which means “root,” and the Sanskrit vardhate meaning “rises, makes grow.”

As diagnosticians and educators, we care about roots. We are fascinated by them. What causes this symptom complex to arise? What are the images telling us? Are we providing the knowledge our students need for success in the new healthcare environment? We strive to have answers when patients and students ask us, “Where do we go from here?”

The past few years have brought dramatic change to Jefferson through mergers with Abington and Aria health systems, as well as our impending affiliation with Philadelphia University. These partnerships have expanded Jefferson’s area of responsibility and shaped an institutional omnivore with the resources to carry us across the health landscape of the future.

Jefferson Radiology is historically well-positioned to take an active role in these developments, as one of only two clinical departments to fully integrate its Center City and Methodist Hospital operations. Our day-to-day is steeped in portability, not only of images, but in how we break down silo walls to share expertise and deliver care.

Though this issue is about roots—firsts and beginnings—it is not a nostalgia tour. Roots matter. They anchor us to our place in the landscape, enabling us to grow. Though they may appear more distant as we sprout and bloom, our roots remain immediate as the essential grounding for wherever we go from here.

I look forward not only to telling stories about Jefferson Radiology and invite you to participate as we build a community. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our Communications Coordinator, Zach Nichols, at


Vijay Rao, MD, FACR
David C. Levin Professor & Chair