About Dr. Gay

Dr. Brian Gay completed medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and then a radiology residency at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan. Finally, he completed an MRI fellowship at The MRI Education Foundation in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Gay has spent 24 years in the industry, first as director of MRI at Northeast Georgia Health System and then as an MRI specialist for Medquest and Northside Hospital, both in Atlanta. In 2017, he opened First Look MRI with a friendly team that is passionate about all things MRI. Together, they are working to change healthcare by making world class MRI services affordable and accessible and putting the patient, rather than the insurance company, in control of their health.

Why we are here

Curious about why First Look MRI came to be? Well, then keep reading!

I am radiologist who has always loved MRI, which is awe-inspiring technology that allows us to see with incredible detail inside all parts of the body. Also, it is safe, with no ionizing radiation like x-ray or CT. Without a doubt in my mind, MRI is the medical miracle of our time. So, after my residency, I was both humbled and excited to obtain an MRI fellowship (i.e. extra year of subspecialty training in MRI) in Cincinnati, learning from the word-renowned MRI master, Dr. Stephen Pomeranz. After the fellowship, I began my career as an MRI specialist in Georgia.

Over the years, though, I noticed a harmful trend. Health systems, hospitals, and investment firms began to purchase the independent imaging centers and then raise the prices, sometime by a factor of 4. At the same time, insurance companies made it increasingly difficult to obtain MRI scans, often denying the MRI outright or mandating months of physical therapy first. As insurance costs skyrocketed, patients switched to high deductible plans to lower the monthly premiums, but then had to pay for the ever more expensive scans out of pocket. MRI, the most powerful tool in medicine, was not affordable or accessible. Moreover, corporations were focused on high profit margins and protecting the laws to limit competition and treated the patient like a number. But what could I do? I was just a radiologist who loved MRI.

I thought, well, I could open a clean, modern, world class MRI center and keep it simple, with one transparent price for all scans. We would not need a doctor's order since I am a doctor, MRI is safe, and we would not deal with insurance authorizations. Individuals would finally have control over their health, with easy and affordable access to powerful MRI scans. Patients could finally find answers the same day from an independent MRI specialist without having to ask permission from a doctor and their insurance company. They would get peace of mind with the knowledge that things were ok or quicker treatments for positive findings. Yes. That sounded great! And it would be exciting to empower patients with information and help reduce the cost of healthcare while doing what I loved.

So, in 2017, I very nervously opened the first First Look MRI center and have not looked back. As with anything new, the road has been rocky and it did not look like we would make it many times. Also, in 2019, the laws in Georgia were changed by the hospital lobby to limit competition so we cannot open new centers in this state. But, with an amazing team that provides the absolute best service in the world, we are always looking for ways to add value and proudly marching on a mission to make healthcare friendly, affordable, and accessible for everyone.

Thank you for helping to make it possible,

Brian P Gay, MD