The future of breast imaging is in the making.

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Anne Richards, Carestream

Anne Richards, Clinical Development Manager, Women’s Healthcare, Carestream

Q: Are you seeing more young radiologists going into mammography services? 

A: At mammography conferences and continuing education courses around the world, I’ve been seeing younger participants than in the past. In fact, I’d say that more than half of the radiologists attending a recent seminar in Brazil were under the age of 40.

This is a great trend for the future of our field!

Historically, breast imaging in general—and mammography in particular—has been viewed as a difficult and unglamorous vocation.

It involved the monotonous task of looking at primarily normal images. It has been characterized by a high rate of recalls and retakes, as well as low reimbursement and higher risk of litigation. Compared to interventional radiology and other specialties, it just didn’t have the “wow” drawing power.

So what is attracting today’s up-and-coming radiologists to this area of specialty?

The multi-modality nature of breast imaging may be part of the answer, with mammography, ultrasound, MRI, and molecular imaging being used in tandem for screening and diagnosis. In addition, advances in digital technology are making this a cutting-edge discipline with appeal for younger medical school graduates.

Beyond just the technology, though, there is the point on which we all can agree: screening mammography saves lives. And saving lives is a strong motivator for anyone in the field of medicine.

If you have an open fellowship in breast imaging, let me know. Together, let’s do all that we can to encourage these future luminaries in the making.

What motivated you to go into the field of breast imaging? Who supported you in your efforts?


  • reply

    Gary Allbutt

    Dear Anne

    Do you consider that Mammography should be a female Radiographer ONLY domain?

    After all, male sonographers are undertaking Transvaginal scans.

    Many years ago I became involved with mammography at Flinders Medical Centre and the key driving force was a female specialist Breast Surgeon. It was the single screen, evacuated cassette era and I incorporated a couple of innovations to maintain cassette deflation and, therefore, good Film/Screen Contact.

    I and one other male carried out mammograms along with about 5 female Radiographers.

    Both males and females had a Nurse/Chaperone present.

    My repeat rate was less than 1% and I was often prevailed upon to ubdertake the final exposure in instances where 2 previous exposures were not satisfactory.

    Now, General Radiographic Jobs include Mammography as “Highly Desirable”, which I am coming to suspect is a “subtle” form of sex descrimination.

    Maybe unintended but an issues all the same. We guys still have the potential for valid input to this important and sensitive Modality.

    Yours sincerely

    Gary Allbutt

  • reply

    Carestream Health

    Gary –

    In many countries male radiographers (technologists) perform mammography positioning. It would be up to the facility whether male technologists should be doing a mammography rotation. Some facilities have surveyed patients as to whether they would feel comfortable with a male technologist. Interesting that the results in the facility I know showed no preference.
    The trend though over the last 15 years has seen more female technologists going into full time mammography than males.

    Thanks for the comment.



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