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Breast Imaging Fellowship

History
The history of the mammography services and research at UMass Memorial began with the arrival of Dr. Edward Smith in 1980 as the second Chair of the department. He brought with him Dr. Carl D'Orsi as Vice Chair and Director of Breast Imaging. The section's volume grew consistently over time and additional mammographers were recruited to handle the volume of imaging and procedures. The Breast Imaging Division has been very active in clinical and medical physics research over the years. In the late 1990’s, the department was awarded a grant from the Department of Defense to compare full-field digital mammography and screen-film mammography for the detection of breast cancer in a screening population.  This was a collaborative effort between UMass, the University of Colorado and General Electric. This research ushered the new era of digital mammography that is now the gold standard.  With the participation of radiologists from this Division as expert readers, the clinical data was used by General Electric to obtain FDA approval of the first digital mammography system in the United States.

Workload
We are a high-volume comprehensive Breast Imaging Division with greater than 40,000 examinations annually, including screening mammography, diagnostic mammography, ultrasound, automated breast ultrasound (ABUS), and MRI. There are over 2,500 interventional procedures annually, including stereotactic biopsy, tomosynthesis guided biopsy, ultrasound guided biopsy, MRI guided biopsies, needle or Savi-scout localizations, and sentinel node injections. We have diagnostic imaging sites at the UMass Memorial University and Memorial Campuses, Marlborough Hospital, Health Alliance Hospital, and at Clinton Hospital. In addition, screening mammography is performed at multiple additional satellite locations. Breast MRI and MR guided biopsy is performed at multiple regional Shields MRI locations and interpreted by our division.

Accreditation
The Comprehensive Breast Center was accredited by the NAPBC (National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers affiliated with the American College of Surgeons) in July 2012. Quality, documentation and accreditation of the Breast Imaging facility were all important criteria for this accreditation. The Breast Imaging facility at ACC and the Memorial Campus have both been designated as a “Center of Excellence”, by the American College of Radiology (ACR) since early 2012. The screening mammography sites and the satellite locations are also ACR accredited and FDA approved.

Positions Available: 1
Length of Fellowship: 12 months
ACGME: No
NRMP: Yes
Application Dates: Begin accepting 2022 applications: August 1, 2020
Interview Dates: November through March

* We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Breast Imaging Faculty

Program Goals

The Breast Imaging Fellowship will provide advanced training in multi-modality breast imaging and its applications.  Fellows will be involved in all aspects of patient care and will learn to screen healthy patients utilizing multi-modality breast imaging as well as direct appropriate imaging work-up for patients in diagnostic breast imaging.  Advanced training will be provided in digital mammography, tomosynthesis, breast ultrasound and breast MRI.

Fellows will be trained in the selection and performance of all breast related procedures and in the necessary follow-up of results for radiology-pathology correlation, determination of concordance, and appropriateness of follow-up recommendations.

Fellows will function as an integral member of the breast care center communicating with patients, referring physicians, and other specialists involved in the care of breast cancer patients.

Program goals also includes engaging fellows in scholarly activities such as presentations at interdisciplinary breast conferences and tumor boards, quarterly journal clubs, in the preparation of two resident conferences and in clinical research including the potential for presentations at local and/or national conferences.

Breast Imaging Breast Imaging

Curriculum

Breast Imaging Curriculum

The Breast Imaging Division of the UMass Radiology Department is staffed by fellowship-trained radiologists who are committed to medical student training and graduate medical education. We are a NAPBC approved Comprehensive Breast Center, and ACR designated Center of Excellence.

Breast Imaging fellows are an integral member of the Division, interpreting screening and diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound and MRI. Fellows also perform ultrasound guided biopsies, stereotactic biopsies, MR guided biopsies, and needle localizations. Breast fellows rotate between our University, Memorial, and Marlborough Hospital campuses in order to get exposed to academic breast imaging as well as community breast imaging.

Fellows are exposed to a diverse patient population and wide range of breast pathology. The fellow works closely with the breast surgeons, pathologists, and oncologist at UMass Memorial Medical Center as an integral part of the interdisciplinary team.

The fellow's responsibilities include assisting the attending staff in resident education and training. The fellow has opportunities to present at the weekly interdisciplinary breast tumor board as well as at our department radiology-pathology correlation conference. Fellows also present two noon conferences to the residents throughout the year. 

In addition to clinical activities, fellows are trained in research methodology, manuscript preparation, and other activities essential to an academic career and objective interpretation of medical literature.

Research

The breast imaging division at UMass is active in research. The Division Director of Breast Imaging, Gopal Vijayaraghavan MD, MPH, has recently received the Award of Capital Grant ($750K) as part of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center’s 2020 Women’s Health Program for his research “Improving Breast Cancer Diagnosis Using Artificial Intelligence in Mammography Screenings.” There is a pressing need to develop a technology like artificial intelligence (AI) that can help facilitate the early detection of cancer.  Interval cancers (breast cancers occurring less than 1 year since the last screening mammogram) accounts for nearly 30% of all breast cancers. This suggests that nearly 1/3rd of mammographic detected cancers may have been present on a prior mammogram. We have partnered with DeepHealth, a local company, that has developed an artificial intelligence-based software using state-of-the-art machine learning techniques to aid radiologists in the interpretation of screening mammograms. This will allow the radiologists to improve efficiency, detect more cancers, find them earlier, and lower the number of women called back for additional imaging. We plan to test this AI software on a large patient dataset generated from our university hospital in a true clinical setting. The study will also involve collaboration with computer scientists from UMass Boston in the application of the advanced deep learning classifiers.

Conferences

breast conference- dr watkins and dr debenedectis shown

Every Wednesday, there is an interdisciplinary breast conference which reviews all new breast cancer diagnosis. At this conference the imaging findings, pathology and clinical plan for all newly diagnosed breast cancer cases are discussed. Members of medical and radiation oncology, radiology, pathology, surgery, genetics and behavioral health are present in addition to other alternating specialties and trainees.

Every other month we also hold our department’s Radiology-Pathology Correlation Conference. At this meeting, discordance in imaging finding and pathology results are discussed and cases with interesting and challenging imaging findings are also reviewed. This helps evolve possible algorithms for follow-up. We also hold quarterly Journal Club meetings as part of this conference as well as annual Equip meetings.

In addition, there are didactic monthly noon-conferences and case presentations for the residents and the breast imaging fellow is encouraged to attend all breast related noon conferences. The breast imaging fellow will also be assigned two noon conferences topics to present to the residents throughout the year.

Radiology Grand Rounds are held throughout the year with visiting and local professors offering the opportunity to meet and learn from leading national authorities on a wide variety of topics.

The Division strives to maintain a high quality of resident and fellowship education with stress on the six focus area outlined in the Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) program.

Imaging Facilities / Locations

Breast Imaging

We have diagnostic imaging sites at the UMass Memorial University and Memorial Campuses, Marlborough Hospital, Health Alliance Hospital, and at Clinton Hospital. In addition, screening mammography is performed at multiple additional satellite locations. Breast MRI and MR guided biopsy are performed at multiple regional Shields MRI locations and interpreted by our division.

University Campus 
Ambulatory Care Center 5th Floor
55 Lake Avenue North 
Worcester, MA 01605

Memorial Campus
Jaquith Building Floor LL1
119 Belmont Street 
Worcester, MA 01605 

Marlborough Hospital
Women’s Imaging Center
157 Union Street 
Marlborough, MA 01752

HealthAlliance Hospital 
Department of Radiology
60 Hospital Road 
Leominster, MA 01453

HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital 
Department of Radiology
201 Highland St
Clinton, MA 01510

Shields MRI at UMass Memorial
214 Shrewsbury St.,
Worcester, MA 01604

Information and Application

Positions Available: 1
Length of Fellowship: 12 months
ACGME: No
NRMP: Yes
Application Dates: Begin accepting 2022 applications: August 1, 2020
Interview Dates: November through March

* We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Contact Information:
Annika Mitchell
Fellowship Program Coordinator
Tel: 508.856.5740
Fax: 508.856.1860
Annika.Mitchell@umassmed.edu

Requirements:
Applicants must have completed a radiology residency program accredited by the ACGME by the time they begin their fellowship at UMMMC. Applicants must be certified or eligible for certification by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) or equivalent. Acceptance is contingent on obtaining an unrestricted Massachusetts medical license by start date of Fellowship.

Applications must include:

  • Fellowship Application (click here to download PDF)
  • Personal Statement
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation, one of which must be from your residency program director
  • USMLE Scores
    • Fellowship applicants need to have passed ALL USMLE scores, Step 1, Step 2CK, Step 2CS and Step 3.
    • Applications that are missing USMLE Step 3 will not be considered.
  • Medical school transcript
  • Deans Letter
  • ECFMG Certificate (if applicable)

Candidates will be considered for interviews once all application materials are received. Letters of Recommendation should be addressed to the respective Program Director and emailed to Annika Mitchell directly by your Program Coordinator or letter writer.  All application materials must be submitted electronically via email to:

Breast Imaging Fellowship Program
Attention: Annika Mitchell
Department of Radiology, Room S2-302
University of Massachusetts Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655

Due to COVID, applications must be submitted electronically via email to Annika Mitchell (Annika.Mitchell@umassmed.edu).  If email is not a viable option, please contact Annika Mitchell to discuss alternative modes of delivery.

Jade Watkins, MD - Program Director Breast Imaging Fellowship
Jade Watkins, MD
Program Director
Breast Imaging Fellowship