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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Testing & Diagnostics

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses magnetic waves to take pictures of your organs and structures inside the body without using radiation.

State-of-the-Art MRI Technology
We have two state-of-the-art GE Signa 1.5T, v.15.0 magnets.


Preparing for Your Visit

  • Eat and take your medications as usual

    Unless we have given you specific instructions, eat and take your medications as usual.

  • Wear clothing without metal

    Wear clothing that doesn’t have any metal fasteners (zippers, buttons, hooks, snaps) or metallic decorations. Leave any jewelry at home.

  • Remove loose metallic objects

    Remove any other loose metallic objects (hairpins, keys, coins, cigarette lighters) and items with magnetic stripes (ATM/credit cards, ID/driver’s license).

  • Leave valuables at home

    Leave your belongings with your companion or secure your things in one of our lockers.

  • Tell us about any metal in your body

    Also, please let our receptionist or technologist know if you have any metal in your body from surgery or any accidents.

  • If you have claustrophobia

    If you have claustrophobia (fear of being enclosed in a small space) and your doctor has given you anxiety medication for this exam, we will tell you when to take it.

  • Emergency patients are seen first

    Because we are a trauma center, emergency patients may be seen ahead of you, and your wait may be quite long. If so, you’ll be able to reschedule your appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I get an MRI?

    Your doctor will order an MRI if s/he feels that this exam is the best way to “see” the part of the body s/he is concerned about (compared to X-rays, CT, or Ultrasound).

    The request will be reviewed by our staff, and your exam will be scheduled according to its urgency. We schedule appointments 7 days a week:
    Weekdays 7:30am – 7:15pm
    Weekends 7:30am – 4pm

  • What Should I Expect?
    • You will lie down on a special table that will slide you into a tunnel about 7 ft. long, and 2 ft. wide.
    • With the exception of lower leg exams (knee, calf, ankle, foot), you will be going in head first.
    • Because the machine makes loud noises (similar to a jackhammer), you will be given earplugs prior to the start of your exam.
    • We will also give you a call button that sounds off an alarm if you need to contact the technologist during the exam (the technologist will be outside the scan room).
    • Most MRI exams last 30 to 90 min. It is very important to hold as still as you can at this time.
  • How Do I Get My Results?

    We send the results of the MRI exam to the doctor who ordered it in approximately 2 days.

    Because many pictures are taken in many different angles, our doctors (called radiologists) need more time to review them.

    Please make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the MRI results.

Our Location

Radiology Department
Zuckerberg San Francisco General
1001 Potrero Avenue (between 22nd and 23rd Streets)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Main Building 5, 1st Floor

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  • Hours
    Outpatient Service
    Mon – Fri
    7:30am – 5pm
  • Contact
    628 206 5021
  • Directions

    Located on the 1st Floor in Building 5. From main entrance, walk straight down to the end of the hallway.

  • Public Transport


    Our Main Campus is served by Muni routes 9, 10, 33, 49, and 90.

    View Muni Schedule

    Plan Your Trip


    The closest BART stop is the 24th Street Mission station.

    View BART Schedule

    Plan Your Trip

    Free Shuttles

    UCSF Shuttle

    Free shuttle to UCSF locations in the city, including our Main Campus.

    View Shuttle Map & Schedule

    ZSFG Shuttle

    Free shuttle to the 24th Street Mission BART station during peak commute times.

    View Shuttle Map & Schedule


  • Parking

    On Campus

    Enter hospital campus driveway and turn right into the surface lot.

    23rd Street Parking Garage

    Enter from 24th Street (during the day) and 23rd Street (in the evening).

We’re Here to Help

Your doctor or health care provider will submit a referral for testing.

Call 628 206 8265 for general information.