William Orrison, MD, MBA
Dr. William Werner Orrison Jr. grew up in rural Kansas where his father was among the last generation of country doctors, often making house calls to remote farms, equipped only with the contents of a black bag, sometimes accepting livestock as payment. From his earliest years, Dr. Orrison witnessed his father's devotion to humble patients and dreamed of joining him in practice as a medical doctor. Dr. Orrison graduated from Kansas State University in 1971 and graduated from medical school in 1975. After completing his medical internship at the University of Wisconsin, he remained in Madison to enter a residency in neurology and, subsequently, another in radiology, finishing in 1981.
Dr. Orrison then completed two fellowships in neuroradiology, the first at Ulleval Hospital in Oslo, Norway, in 1981, and the second at the University of Wisconsin. An expert in the emerging field of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Dr. Orrison served as chief of neuroradiology, and later chairman of radiology, at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., from 1982 to 1985, attaining the rank of major. He subsequently joined the faculty of the UNM Department of Radiology, where he led the department's efforts in neuroradiology, special procedures, non-invasive diagnosis, and MRI.
In 1997, Dr. Orrison became professor and chairman of radiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, where he led cutting-edge research in magnetoencephalography (MEG), especially as a diagnostic tool for autism spectrum disorder. Colleagues admired him for promoting the exchange of ideas among department heads and for his unfailing empathy for patients and their families. During his career, Dr. Orrison wrote five textbooks on medical imaging, contributed 24 chapters to others' books, and authored or co-authored 145 scholarly papers and 11 patents.