Survey of radiology residents: Breast imaging training and attitudes

Lawrence W. Bassett, Barbara S. Monsees, Robert A. Smith, Lily Wang, Parizad Hooshi, Dione M. Farria, James W. Sayre, Stephen A. Feig, Valerie P. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To investigate the training and attitudes of residents regarding breast imaging. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A telephone survey was conducted with 201 4th-year residents (postgraduate medical school year 5) and 10 3rd-year residents (postgraduate medical school year 4) at 211 accredited radiology residencies in the United States and Canada. Survey topics included organization of the breast imaging section, residents' role in the section, clinical practice protocols of the training institution, residents' personal thoughts about breast imaging, and their interest in performing breast imaging in the future. RESULTS: Of 211 programs, 203 (96%) had dedicated breast imaging rotations; 196 (93%) rotations were 8 weeks or longer; 153 (73%), 12 weeks or longer. Residents dictated reports in 199 (94%) programs. Residents performed real-time ultrasonography (US) in 186 (88%) programs, needle localization in 199 (94%), US-guided biopsy in 174 (82%), and stereotactically guided biopsy in 181 (86%). One hundred eighty-four (87%) residents rated interpretation of mammograms more stressful than they did that of other images, and 137 (65%) believed mammograms should be interpreted by subspecialists. One hundred thirty-five (64%) residents would not consider a fellowship in breast imaging if offered, and 133 (63%) would not want to spend 25% or more of their time in clinical practice on interpretation of mammograms. The most common reasons given for not considering a fellowship or interpretation of mammograms were that breast imaging was not an interesting field, that they feared lawsuits, and that it was too stressful. Fellowships were offered at 53 programs, and at 46 programs, a total of 63 fellows were recruited. CONCLUSION: Residency training in breast imaging has improved in terms of time and curriculum. However, a majority of the residents would not consider a fellowship and did not want to interpret mammograms in their future practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)862-869
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003


  • Breast Breast, US
  • Economics, medical Education Radiology and radiologists, socioeconomic issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Survey of radiology residents: Breast imaging training and attitudes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this