Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

SDMS Announcements

Remembering L.E. Schnitzer

by Ted Whitten

L E Schnitzer

It is with great sadness that I share with you the passing of L.E. Schnitzer on February 4, 2021. Schnitzer was one of the founders of the American Society of Ultrasound Technical Specialists (ASUTS) which became the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS).

In 1969, Schnitzer and Joan Baker went to the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) meeting to advocate for the formation of a technical society specifically for sonographers. While there, six technical specialists (now known as diagnostic medical sonographers) - Joan Baker, Marilyn Ball, Margaret Byrne, James Dennon, Raylene Husak, and L.E. Schnitzer - wrote their proposal and the next day, Schnitzer and Baker hand carried a letter to the AIUM board meeting.

The letter explained that they and their colleagues saw a new and emerging need for members who were not physicians and/or physicists to form a common organization. The affirmative vote represented a major victory for the group members, who immediately realized that they had a lot of work to do and no experience doing it. Their first task: incorporating the organization and drafting a constitution and bylaws.

Schnitzer was tasked with writing the ASUTS constitution and bylaws and was chosen as president-elect of the society at the first meeting. However, in March 1972, Schnitzer became the Director of Education for a commercial company and resigned his ASUTS office in accordance with the bylaws, which prohibited a commercial technical specialist from holding an ASUTS office.

Known for giving the first lecture in fetal echocardiography at the AIUM annual meeting in 1973 titled "Fetal Echocardiography", Schnitzer came to ultrasound when he switched careers from being a professional cowboy to an ultrasound technical specialist.

Schnitzer was one of the pioneers in sonography and we all owe him our gratitude for what he did for our beloved profession.

L E Schnitzer