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Werner Forssmann
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  Werner Forssmann performs self-catheterization first x-ray of catheterization
In 1929 in a small hospital in Eberswald Germany Werner Forssmann, a young surgical resident, anesthetized his own elbow, inserted a catheter in his antecubital vein and, catheter dangling from his arm, proceeded to a basement x-ray room where he documented the catheter's position in his right atrium proving that a catheter could be inserted safely into a human heart.
 
Forssmann's goal was to find a safe way to inject drugs for cardiac resuscitation. He was determined that catheterization was the key, but it was believed at the time that any entry into the heart would be fatal. Forssmann was immediately fired for his self-experimentation, despite the significance of his discovery. The popular press acclaimed his work, but the medical establishment branded him as crazy, scorning him and ignoring his work for over a decade.
 
He continued to experiment with catheterization in dogs and it is alleged that he stopped self-experimentation only when he had used all of his veins with 17 cut downs. Discouraged by his lack of acceptance in cardiology he switched to urology and eventually became a country doctor. He never returned to cardiology research but was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1956 (along with cardiology innovators Cournand and Richards) for his pioneering efforts.

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