RSNA 2023 Outstanding Educator Award: David J. DiSantis, MD

David J. DiSantis, MD
David J. DiSantis, MD

David J. DiSantis, MD a champion of education for all science-driven learners regardless of background, David J. DiSantis, MD, is lauded throughout the radiology community for his exemplary work in teaching, mentorship, and patient care.

“Even as a first-year resident at the Mallinckrodt Institute, Dr. DiSantis was as much an educator as he was a learner,” said RSNA President Matthew A. Mauro, MD. “His free interactive nature spans all levels. He was born to teach.”

Dr. DiSantis’ clinical and teaching roles have taken him from Eastern Virginia Medical School to Wake Forest University, the University of Kentucky, and finally to his current position as professor of radiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Florida. At each stop, his infectious zeal has convinced trainees that fluoroscopy skills remain relevant for contemporary patient care.

Dr. DiSantis has forged a career in which mentorship and volunteerism are core principles. For all levels from medical students through junior faculty, his insights have guided scientific study design, data  acquisition, manuscript preparation and exhibit creation. He is a sought-after advisor concerning career prospects for trainees who are contemplating academic medicine. Unsurprisingly, Dr. DiSantis has been honored as Teacher of the Year at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Wake Forest University, and the Mayo Clinic.

In addition, he was awarded the first endowed professorship in radiology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

Dr. DiSantis has delivered 11 named and honorary lectureships, among them the Richard H. Marshak International Lectureship of the Society of Abdominal Radiology and the Glenn Hartman Radiology Centennial Oration (a tribute to his lifelong commitment to preserving the history of our specialty). In 2021, he received the Lifetime Service Award of the American Board of Radiology.

Dr. DiSantis has been associate editor of Abdominal Radiology and serves on the editorial board of RadioGraphics. He served on the Education Committee of the RSNA and has been honored as an RSNA Honored Educator.

The grandchild of Italian immigrants, Dr. DiSantis proudly shares the story of how his parents (neither of whom finished high school), toiled in a tiny corner grocery store to shoulder the costs for him and his two brothers to attend college, medical and dental school. Dr. DiSantis received his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and completed his residency in diagnostic radiology and fellowship in abdominal imaging at Washington University School of Medicine’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis. In 2003, he earned a master’s degree in nonfiction writing from Goucher College in Baltimore.

Dr. DiSantis and his wife, Denise, lead a program designed to encourage grade-school children from underrepresented populations to pursue careers in science and technology called “You can do STEM!”, which earned him the inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Achievement Award of the Society of Abdominal Radiology.