David C. Levin, MD, Dies at 85

RSNA Gold Medal recipient was a leader in health services research, mentoring and cardiac imaging

Levin, David

A widely respected expert in vascular imaging and interventions and a prolific researcher with an expertise in imaging utilization trends, David C. Levin, MD, died on Jan. 15 in Bryn Mawr, PA. 


Dr. Levin was professor and chair emeritus of the Department of Radiology at Thomas Jefferson University and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia. Dr. Levin established the Center for Research on Utilization of Imaging Services at Thomas Jefferson University. In 2008, an endowed chair was established in his honor at Thomas Jefferson University renaming the chair of the Department of Radiology as The David C. Levin Professor and Chair of Radiology. Vijay M. Rao, past RSNA president, is the current David C. Levin Professor and Chair of Radiology at Thomas Jefferson University.


Dr. Levin served as a jet fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force before earning his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. He completed his radiology residency at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center.


Dr. Levin was an assistant professor of radiology at Cornell Medical College in New York City, an associate professor of radiology at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center and an associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. In 1985, he served as acting chair of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Radiology Department and in 1986, he was appointed professor and chair of the Department of Radiology at Jefferson Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University, where he stayed for the remainder of his career.


Since his semi-retirement in 2002, Dr. Levin served as a consultant for several radiology companies, imaging centers and nonprofit health care technology organizations. He also maintained part-time teaching, clinical and research positions at Thomas Jefferson University, where he still performed coronary CT angiography procedures.


A prolific author, researcher and lecturer, Dr. Levin was awarded the RSNA Gold Medal in 2009 and presented the RSNA 2014 Annual Oration on Diagnostic Radiology. An RSNA member since 1974, Dr. Levin was RSNA’s third vice-president in 1996 and first vice-president in 2018. He served on numerous RSNA committees, including as chair of the R&E Foundation‘s Corporate Advisory Council and the Giving Subcommittee.  He previously chaired the RSNA Health Policy & Practice Committee and the Cardiovascular Radiology Scientific Program Committee. Dr. Levin was also a R&E Foundation Visionary Donor and Centennial Pathfinder and a co-chair of the Inspire-Innovate-Invest Campaign.


Dr. Levin served as president of the Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments (SCARD) and as chair of the American Heart Association’s Council on Cardiovascular Radiology. Dr. Levin received the gold medals of the American Roentgen Ray Society, American College of Radiology, Association of University Radiologists and Society of Interventional Radiology.