Ian Donald

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Ian Donald
Known forultrasound in medicine
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity 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 Munro 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. ^ "Donald, Ian". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/40066. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  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 978-1-84129-011-9Wikidata Q29581634

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