Local doctor takes control of KU Med

By The Mercury

Manhattan native and Kansas State University graduate Lou Wetzel has been elected chief of staff at the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, Kan.

Dr. Wetzel joined The University of Kansas Hospital medical staff in 1986 specializing in body imaging. He grew up in Manhattan and graduated from Kansas-State with a bachelor’s in chemistry. In college he survived a cervical spine “hangman’s fracture” in a car accident, which piqued his interest in medicine, and he took his medical school admissions test in a halo brace.

His early clinical imaging research helped define the role of CT and MRI scans in the diagnosis and staging of bone and soft tissue tumors. He became a tenured professor in 1998. His recent clinical research interest is non-invasive imaging of the coronary arteries with CTA scans.

As a volunteer to the anatomy faculty, Dr. Wetzel developed and presented a radiology anatomy course for human gross anatomy. His teaching was rewarded with the Chancellor’s Award for excellence in medical education, the Bohan teaching professorship, and six Student Voice awards. He served as radiology residency program director for 15 years.

He has served as chair of the medical faculty council, chair of the academic committee, and chair of the promotion and tenure committee of the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He has served on the hospital trauma committee, infection control committee, and capital budget committee.

As radiology medical director, he led the conversion to electronic imaging and voice recognition reporting. He is an elected member of The University of Kansas Physicians board.

Dr. Wetzel, during 27 years of teaching, research, and clinical practice as a professor of radiology, was a leader in the introduction of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging into the toolbox of clinical radiologists.

He is the son of Connie and David L. Wetzel. David is a research analytical chemist of the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station and professor in the Grain Science Department at K-State.

Lou’s younger brother, Dr. Mark Wetzel, a graduate in biochemistry, practiced medicine in Manhattan for 20 years before assuming clinical duties in internal medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He recently was inducted as a fellow in the American College of Physicians.

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