Ian Donald

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Ian Donald
Known for ultrasound in medicine
Scientific career
Fields medicine
Institutions University of Glasgow

Ian Donald (December 1910 – 19 June 1987) was a Scottish physician who pioneered the use of diagnostic ultrasound in medicine.


Donald was born to John and Helen Donald in 1910. His father was a doctor and his mother was a concert pianist. His sister Alison was to be a leading headteacher.[1]

Whilst Professor of Midwifery at Glasgow University, he first explored the use of ultrasound in the 1950s after seeing it used in the Glasgow shipyards to look for flaws in metallurgy. He became Regius Professor of Midwifery in 1955. His article Investigation of Abdominal Masses by Pulsed Ultrasound, published 7 June 1958 in the medical journal The Lancet, was one of the defining publications in the field. Ultrasound has become an important aid to diagnosing fetal progress during pregnancy.



  1. ^ Janet Gough, ‘Munro, Dame Alison (1914–2008)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Jan 2012; online edn, May 2012 accessed 30 Dec 2016
  2. ^ a b c d e Tilli Tansey; Daphne Christie, eds. (2000), Looking at the Unborn: Historical aspects of obstetric ultrasound, Wellcome Witnesses to Contemporary Medicine, History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group, ISBN 978-1-84129-011-9 Wikidata Q29581634

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