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Breast Imaging Fellowship

Quick guide to Breast Imaging Fellowship

Application Information

About the program

The first Breast Imaging Fellowship Match will take place in March, 2021 for the 2022 appointment year. The match is sponsored by the Society of Breast Imaging and it will be managed by the National Resident Matching Program. In order to be appointed a fellow with Allegheny Health Network, you must register with the Radiology Match, of which Breast Imaging is a part.

Breast Imaging has implemented an “All In” Policy for the Match. This means that programs participating in the Match cannot extend any offers to candidates outside of the match.

Approximate dates of the match (exact dates TBD):

  • March: Registration opens
  • April: Ranking opens
  • May: Ranking Order List Deadline
  • June: Match Day
  • July 1: Training begins

Program description

The Fellow is expected to train five days a week and have 20 days off during the twelve month fellowship. Ten months will be spent completely in the Breast Center. The Fellow will always train under the direct supervision of a breast imaging radiologist. There are two basic rotations in the breast center for the Breast Imager and Fellow. The rotations are for one week at a time. The first rotation encompasses Diagnostic Breast Imaging. During this week the Fellow will interpret screening and diagnostic mammograms. He or She will be the first radiologist to see the mammogram and decide if the study is normal or needs further imaging. If additional images, including breast ultrasound, are needed, the Fellow will directly supervise these studies. The Fellow will be directly involved in the ultrasound study under the supervision of the attending radiologist and the certified sonographer. As part of the diagnostic training, the Fellow will also perform a breast physical exam of the breast in question.

For the alternating Breast Intervention week, again under the direct supervision of a dedicated breast imaging radiologist, the Fellow and this radiologist will be responsible for performing all breast interventional studies, read screening mammograms, and interpret all Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging studies. Breast Intervention includes the performance, under the direct supervision of the attending radiologist, of all needle localizations (wires and radioactive seeds, whether they are mammographically or ultrasound guided) and interpretation of the specimen mammogram related to the procedure; ultrasound-guided, stereotactic and tomosynthesis-guided, as well as MRI-guided needle biopsies; cyst aspirations; and the performance of axillary lymph node biopsies. The Fellow will learn to set up the equipment for these biopsies and use all the techniques at our disposal for the biopsies. The Fellow will be responsible for the post biopsy care while the patient is in the department. During this rotation the Fellow will also learn and perform the technique for sentinel lymph node identification. During the day there is also time for interpretation of Breast MRI studies and, as time permits, screening mammograms. The Fellow will review these studies independently, pull all the data together, make up his/her mind of the findings and then review the case with the attending breast imager. All studies will be dictated by the Fellow and reviewed by the attending radiologist.

Our breast center has a breast surgeon or other specialty physician who sees high risk breast patients in attendance every day. For one week the Fellow will train directly with these physicians. The Fellow will see all diagnostic problems, pre-operative and post-operative cases, as well as patients who have had breast cancer surgery in the recent or distant past. Dedicated breast exams and interactions with the patient and families will take place throughout the day. Pre-operative planning and post-operative treatment planning will be discussed. Typically, the attending physician sees thirty to forty patients.

The Fellow will also spend two weeks in the operating room watching the multiple breast procedures. This includes segmental mastectomy, axillary lymph node dissection, mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

ahn fellow smiling in front of breast imaging machine

Since there is such an active breast program at our institution, we have dedicated breast pathologists as well. The Fellow will spend one week in the pathology department observing these pathologists, looking at gross specimens and microscopic examinations of breast tissue. This dedicated time will enable the Fellow to study the pathology related to breast disease, in the form of core biopsies and surgical specimens.

Every week there is a multidisciplinary breast tumor board conference. The Fellow, along wi