Physician Highlight:
Peter Coulson, M.D.

Peter Coulson is originally from Nolensville, Tennessee just outside Nashville. He attended medical school at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, then moved to the Knoxville campus for his final two years. He remained in Knoxville for his internship and general diagnostic radiology residency before moving to Charlottesville for his neuroradiology fellowship at the University of Virginia.

Dr. Coulson is the first in his family to attend medical school. He admits that he hadn’t seriously considered medicine as a career until he took a college course in digital image processing which focused on math, science and converting the signal obtained by a CT or MRI to a clinical image for interpretation. “That was my first exposure to the field of radiology and immediately thought wow, now THAT’s something I could see myself doing for the rest of my life,” Dr. Coulson shared. His clinical rotations during medical school confirmed that radiology was the right path he wanted to pursue. 

Neuroradiology, in particular, was attractive to Dr. Coulson because of his interest in the brain and nervous system. “Neuroradiology is applicable in a wide range of clinical situations from routine outpatient imaging to an acute stroke case,” he explained. He enjoys the technology advancements in neuroimaging techniques in recent years. One that’s been particularly useful is the addition of brain CT perfusion imaging in cases of suspected stroke. The perfusion data is often helpful in cementing or further characterizing the diagnosis. “While artificial intelligence hasn’t made much of an impact in our day to day treatment yet, I’m confident that machine learning and CAD techniques will someday play a larger role,” Dr. Coulson shared.

After living in Knoxville during medical school and residency, choosing to stay in the area and join the Vista Radiology group was an easy decision. In his spare time, Dr. Coulson enjoys running, hiking, playing tennis and traveling to central Europe.