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Does Attitude Affect Interpretation of Mammograms?

January 4, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Breast Imaging
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Many radiologists don’t enjoy interpreting mammograms, but fortunately that doesn’t affect the quality of their work. That’s what a survey of more than 100 radiologists from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium found. The findings appear in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

The survey asked participants to rank their enjoyment of reading mammograms and included questions regarding interpretive accuracy. Results showed that just over half of the participants enjoyed interpreting mammograms. Radiologists who enjoyed it the most tended to be older women who worked part-time. Those who said they did not enjoy the work as much were most likely to be younger men who thought the work was tedious or who felt uncertain about interpreting results.

Happily, attitude did not seem to affect performance. The average abnormal interpretation rate for all radiologists was just over 11 percent for screening mammograms and 8.6 percent for diagnostic mammograms, with a cancer detection rate of 30 per 1,000 diagnostic mammograms.

While the survey focused on overall performance, the findings shed light on which professionals tend to enjoy mammography the most. “With the dearth of breast imagers available, using the data from the survey by individual practices may help to increase overall job satisfaction and therefore aid in recruiting and retaining radiologists willing to interpret mammograms,” said Basil Hubbi, MD, who reviewed the study.

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One Response to “Does Attitude Affect Interpretation of Mammograms?”

  1. Michael J. on January 9th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    I became head of breast imaging at my institution about one year ago. Since that time I have enjoyed breast imaging more than I did in the past. The addition of breast MRI and MR biopsies has made the field much more exciting.