Q & A: Does it matter who the radiologist is that reads my mammogram or other breast imaging studies? Why?
Posted on October 25, 2012 by ambergray.
By Stacey Vitiello, MD
It matters who reads your mammogram. If your study is read by a radiology doctor (radiologist) who practices general radiology or another radiology subspecialty and only reads a few mammograms per week, you are probably not receiving the best care. Yes, the guy is board certified and is licensed by law to read your mammogram. But I am licensed to read all radiology studies as well, even though my specialty is breast imaging. Doesn’t mean I should muddle through interpreting the next brain or shoulder MRI that comes my way. Thinking about it now, I am “qualified” to read Peyton Manning’s next MRI of his neck. Do you believe that anyone in their right mind would let me do this? My point: You and your life are just as important as the talented Mr. Manning’s career. Don’t settle for less than the best.
A well-done study published several years ago proves and quantifies this point. The link to the journal article is here. The researchers found that specialty-trained breast radiologists find significantly more cancers, and at earlier stages, than the general radiologists.