RLI Podcasts

Episode 19: Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR


A Renaissance Leader

March 19, 2020

In this episode, Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR, founding editor of both Academic Radiology and the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR), discusses his early days in Miami, how he developed a strong work ethic and the important role that mentors and sponsors have played in his decisions and ultimately his success. He recounts his journey from med school and fellowship to his role at Rand Corporation where he began his work in the field of health services research as applied to radiology. You will learn about his time as principal investigator and Chair of the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) and how that led to his becoming founding editor-in-chief of the JACR in 2004. As president of five radiological societies, recipient of lifetime achievement awards from six radiology organizations and author of over 400 published works, including three creative nonfiction books for lay people that span topics from the discovery of AIDS to Albert Einstein, he is truly Renaissance man and has an inspirational journey to share.

View episode transcript »


The following episode is sponsored by the Master of Medical Management program at Carnegie Mellon University, which provides physicians with quantitative management, business strategy, and technology skills for the future of health care leadership.

Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR

Dr. Bruce J. Hillman was born and raised in Miami Beach. He graduated Princeton University in 1965 and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1973. He received his radiology training at Harvard’s Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.

He currently is both Professor Emeritus of Radiology at the University of Virginia and Adjunct Professor of Radiology at Duke University, where he is an Associate of the Trent Center for Biomedical Ethics, Humanities, and the History of Medicine.

Full Bio »

Did you know?

Dr. Hillman and his wife, Pam, have been married for eight years. They live in Wake Forest, North Carolina, with Pam’s horse, Lucy, once-feral cats BusyBee, Dreamy Baby, Mamacita, and Ratoncito, and their mixed terrier, Lillabet. Devoted readers of JACR will recognize Lillabet and BusyBee as occasional allegorical characters in Dr. Hillman’s monthly JACR editorials.

He has one son, Aaron, who lives in Stowe, MA, and works in marketing for GE Healthcare. Additionally, Dr. Hillman has three step-children and six step-grandchildren ranging in age from 1 to 17.

Dr. Hillman was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008 and underwent deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery for an increasingly rapid deterioration in function in May 2019. This better controls his tremor and involuntary muscle movements but has led to easy fatigue and swallowing difficulties.

Dr. Hillman’s hobbies include fly-fishing, golf, and writing creative non-fiction. With the progression of his Parkinson’s disease, all of these interests have become more difficult, but he is trying to persevere.

Dr. Hillman has commercially published three books for a general readership (all are available through Amazon; his author’s Web site is www.brucejhillmanmd.com):

  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: How Medical Imaging is Changing Health Care (with Jeff Goldsmith; Oxford University Press, 2010);
  • The Man Who Stalked Einstein: How Nazi Scientist Philipp Lenard Changed the Course of History (with Birgit Ertl-Wagner and Bernd Wagner; Lyons Press, 2015);
  • A Plague on All Our Houses: Medical Intrigue, Hollywood, and the Discovery of AIDS (ForeEdge Press, 2016)

Additionally, he is currently working on a memoir tentatively titled Shaky - A Memoir: A Physician Confronts His Turbulent Past and an Uncertain Future with Parkinson’s Disease.

Dr. Hillman and his brother, Jeff, grew up in Miami Beach when it was just a small town favored by elderly snowbirds. He learned to play pinochle on the porch of the small South Beach hotel his father managed for his family. Dr. Hillman’s father died of a heart attack when he was twelve.

Other than the occasional lecture and a little committee work for ACR and RSNA, he retired from radiology as of January 1, 2019.

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