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David Fetzer, M.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Fetzer is American Board of Radiology-certified in diagnostic radiology. He joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2014.

He is the Medical Director of Ultrasound at both UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital, as well as Chief of Abdominal Imaging Interventional Services at Parkland. He also oversees UT Southwestern’s ultrasound-based screening program for liver disease.

Dr. Fetzer earned his medical degree at UT Health Science Center at Houston. He completed both a four-year diagnostic radiology residency and an abdominal imaging fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dr. Fetzer’s primary clinical and research focus includes hepatobiliary as well as neck ultrasound imaging. He holds a B.S. in imaging science from the Rochester Institute of Technology. This background – combined with his interest in translational research – are the basis for Dr. Fetzer’s work in multimodality testing and quantitative imaging, especially in metabolic, hepatobiliary, pancreatic, thyroid, and lymph node imaging.

He has published a number of scholarly articles and case reports, and he serves as a reviewer for publications that include Abdominal Imaging, PLOS ONE, and BioMed Research International.

Dr. Fetzer is a member of professional organizations that include the American College of Radiology, American Roentgen Ray Society, Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, and Society of Abdominal Radiology (SAR).

His professional recognitions include being named a 2015 Distinguished Reviewer for Abdominal Imaging by the SAR, and earning the 2013 Roentgen Fellow Research Award and 2012 Roentgen Resident Research Award – both from the RSNA Research and Education Foundation.

In 2019, Dr. Fetzer received UT Southwestern's Rising Star Award.

Meet Dr. Fetzer

Radiologist and Diagnostic Ultrasound Specialist in Dallas

UT Southwestern Medical Center radiologist Dr. David Fetzer specializes in abdominal imaging, using ultrasound and other imaging modalities to diagnose and evaluate patients with a wide range of conditions.

He also has special expertise in using ultrasound to evaluate certain conditions of the neck and thyroid gland, as well as in guiding procedures such as biopsies.

Patients often think that more expensive imaging technologies such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are better than ultrasound, but Dr. Fetzer says that’s not always the case. He is an expert at using the right technology for each patient to help make an accurate diagnosis.

“I also have a lot of experience with CT and MRI imaging – primarily in diseases of the upper abdomen, such as those of the liver and kidneys,” he says, “but I try to use ultrasound whenever possible because it is safer and faster, and is often a less expensive option compared to some other types of radiologic exams.”

A Unique Perspective

Fellowship trained and board certified, Dr. Fetzer has a background in imaging science, which gives him a unique perspective on medical imaging.

“In addition to using radiologic devices in clinical practice, I am constantly thinking about how to improve those imaging systems to make medical imaging safer, higher quality, and more cost-effective,” he says.

“I see myself as a bridge between radiology, clinical medicine, and research in terms of bringing new research ideas and tools from the lab to the clinic in order to offer patients the most cutting-edge techniques and devices.” 

Dr. Fetzer also spends a lot of his time training and working alongside the ultrasound technologists who perform most of the ultrasound exams. Ultrasound is a much more dynamic, interactive exam than CT or MRI, and the radiologist relies heavily on attentive, well-training technologists.

“I have the pleasure of working with very high-quality technologists at UT Southwestern. Their dedication to patient care makes my job that much easier,” he says.

In addition, Dr. Fetzer has a biopsy clinic, in which he performs ultrasound-guided biopsies of the thyroid gland and other soft tissues of the neck.

UT Southwestern’s Comprehensive Approach

He enjoys partnering with his radiology colleagues and specialists from disciplines that include nephrology, hepatology, oncology, endocrinology, and surgery to deliver patient-focused care, often through a disease-specific team.

“Modern medicine is so complex that it takes a team approach – a team that keeps the patient involved and at the center of care,” he says. “Radiology is often a critical component of that team, and I am happy to be a part of that for many patients.”

The overarching goal of these multispecialty disease oriented teams at UT Southwestern is to provide actionable information that enhances patient care.

“Medical imaging has such an impact on modern health care,” Dr. Fetzer says. “We strive to provide as much information as possible to help complete the picture for the clinicians and surgeons who are trying to best take care of their patients.”

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Education & Training
  • Internship - UT Health Science Center McGovern Medical School (2008-2009), Transitional Year
  • Fellowship - University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (2013-2014), F
  • Residency - University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (2009-2013), Diagnostic Radiology
  • Medical School - University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (2004-2008)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (2013-2014), Clinical Instructor
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center Department of Radiology (2014), Assistant Professor
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (2014-2015), Adjunct Faculty
Honors & Awards
  • Rising Star Award – UT Southwestern 2019
  • Memorial Award for Research in Radiology 2006, Association for University Radiologists 54th Annual Meeting
  • Cum Laude Education Exhibit Award 2011, RSNA 97th Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL
  • Best Case in Gastrointestinal Imaging 2011, American Institute of Radiologic Pathology
  • Roentgen Resident Research Award 2012, RSNA Research and Education Foundation
  • Roentgen Fellow Research Award 2013, RSNA Research and Education Foundation
  • SCBT-MR Innovation Award 2015, Society of Computed Body Tomography and Magnetic Resonance
  • Distinguished Reviewer for Abdominal Imaging 2015, Journal of Abdominal Imaging
  • Top Score Poster 2016, International Liver Cancer Association Annual Meeting
  • Resident Conference of the Month 2015, UT Southwestern Medical School Radiology Residency
Books & Publications
  • Ultrasound elastography in thyroid, lymph node, and liver imaging
  • Spectral CT, applications in hepatic, renal, and pancreatic diseases
  • Quantitative imaging in chronic liver disease
  • Non-rigid image registration in dynamic post-contrast imaging
  • Contrast-enhanced ultrasound, particularly in chronic liver disease

Q&A by Dr. Fetzer

2019 Leaders in Clinical Excellence video: Dr. David Fetzer