In college, I paid my way through my undergraduate degree by working in technical theater; lighting design, sets, sound systems. After graduating, I wasn't sure quite what to do with myself, but I was offered a full scholarship to get a degree in technical theater. I had loved my theater jobs and -- not having better alternatives at the time -- I jumped at the chance to postpone the 'real world' and spend a couple of years in the formal study of technical theater. What I discovered was that what I had really loved about my work in theater was getting 50-year old buildings to support modern productions. I loved the architecture of the theater more than the production of a single show... so I dropped out of my theater degree and enrolled in architecture school. I was on my way to becoming a professional architect of live theaters.
Unfortunately, it never dawned on me that the reasons that the theaters I'd worked in were ill suited to support modern shows was because nobody builds live theaters any more, and hadn't for twenty years or more. There were probably better job opportunities making 8-track tapes than being a theater architect.
My first architecture job after getting my Masters in architecture was for a firm that did a lot of hospital work, and one of my first projects was to design an MRI suite. I was young, and eager to please, so I learned everything that I could about MRI, while I was designing that project. I was hooked on the technology... the complexity... the clinical importance of this machine.
I became involved in MRI safety several years later when a client asked me to design a new MRI suite using a just published (at the time) safety standard. Through that project I came to realize how much architects help to shape practice in the buildings they design, and I became a convert to the cause of improving MRI safety. Connections made during that project ultimately led to an invitation to serve on the American College of Radiology's MRI Safety Committee (the only architect to have ever served in that capacity), to contribute to national radiology design standards, and to teach radiology safety to the Joint Commission's surveyors from the perspective of an 'outsider' to the profession.
Over the years I've designed many radiology facilities, and I've worked equally diligently to share the knowledge I've built, both in articles and with teams and audiences.