Mammo model presents lessons in leadership

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 - Lisa Fratt - Portrait
Lisa Fratt, Editor

Screening mammography may epitomize the classic Rodney Dangerfield line, “I don’t get no respect.” Despite the dearth of deference, breast imagers carry on; and in doing so, offer a model for imaging 3.0.

When Danish researchers published a study March 18 in Annals of Family Medicine linking a false-positive mammogram with long-term psychosocial harm, the American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging sprang into action. The organizations disputed the researchers’ methodology, and equally important, outlined key strategies for radiologists to apply as they strive to provide high-quality, patient-centric breast imaging services.

These include communicating that follow-up imaging is frequently required and often reassuring as well as ensuring that women who require follow-up appointments can easily schedule those exams.

Meanwhile, researchers predicted the end of the one-size-fits-all approach to breast cancer screening. Jennifer S. Drukteinis, MD, from H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., and colleagues reviewed emerging screening modalities and noted that none are likely to replace the gold standard of mammography in the April issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Instead, the next-generation model will apply personalized screening based on a woman’s genetic, phenotypic and clinical profiles. The shift requires close collaboration between breast imagers and primary care providers.

Clinicians will need a robust understanding of risk stratification, new modalities and clinical context to provide this level of care. Radiologists can facilitate the model and hone their leadership by sharing this information with clinicians and patients.

Thus, breast imagers may pioneer the imaging 3.0 model and offer a script for their colleagues across the specialty.

How is your practice developing next-generation models in breast imaging and beyond? Please let us know.

Lisa Fratt, editor