What is a Radiologist?

radiologist examining mammogram

A radiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating injuries seen on imaging procedures such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasound, and mammograms.They may also perform image-guided procedures such as a biopsy. This article will focuses on radiologists that read mammograms.

When you visit your breast care clinic for your routine screening mammogram, it is likely you will not meet the radiologist. At the front desk, you will be guided by the mammography technologist to the mammography suite for your imaging. After your imaging, you will leave and the results will be read by the radiologist and sent to your doctor. If you need to return for a diagnostic exam, you may meet the radiologist. Or you may not. It depends on the operations of your particular facility.

Who is a Breast Radiologist?

A breast radiologist is a person who specializes in interpreting images of the breast to diagnose and help treat different medical conditions of the breasts. In simple terms, breast radiologists read mammograms, breast MRIs, and ultrasounds and perform diagnostic breast procedures that help diagnose and treat breast cancer. Breast radiologists often work with patients and their care teams to guide breast cancer management.

What Does a Breast Imaging Radiologist Do?

Breast radiologists read mammograms and other breast imaging images. They also conduct diagnostic procedures like biopsies and percutaneous surgery to diagnose abnormal findings in the breast found on imaging. Typically, biopsies can be performed with mammograms, MRIs, or ultrasound guidance. These procedures help localize different areas of the breast that need assessment by a surgeon. Other procedures may follow, such as preoperative, image-guided procedures called localizations. These minimally invasive localizations may be completed using thin wires or reflector seeds. When any of these procedures are completed, the radiologists perform aspiration procedures under ultrasound guidance to help reduce the pain of a benign breast condition such as cysts.

What Does Fellowship Trained Mean?

When a breast radiologist is fellowship trained, it means that they spend additional time after residency specializing in advanced breast imaging and other unique breast procedures. During the training, radiologists learn how you work with multidisciplinary teams such as oncologists, surgeons, and other specialists in breast cancer. Residency in radiology offers training in basic aspects of breast cancer diagnosis and detection. The extra fellowship changes radiologists into specialists, allowing them to provide more complex aspects of care, such as MRI procedures. Fellowship-trained breast radiologists can use Magview’s mammography reporting and tracking software to deliver superior breast health experience and care.

What Are the Benefits of a Medical Fellowship?

Pursuing a medical fellowship means the breast care system has more advanced professionals to handle critical cases. Fellowship-trained breast radiologists are highly sought after due to the general shortage of specialist doctors. Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in the world, so there’s a need for more specialists in this segment to improve breast health care and help save lives.

Be sure to check your risk for breast cancer using one of our tools today.

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Breast Imaging in the Era of
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Breast Imaging in the Era of Personalized
Care: Tools, Tactics, and Triumphs in
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Dr. Stacy Smith-Foley