Women's Imaging for Medical Students

Women’s imaging focuses on imaging of the breast, fetus, and women’s reproductive organs. Women’s imagers play a major role in screening for and diagnosing breast cancer, as well as assessing treatment response. They often directly interact with patients during ultrasounds and a variety of image guided procedures such as breast biopsies. Ultrasound is commonly used to assess the fetus due to its wide availability and lack of ionizing radiation. MRI has also become a commonly used tool in various breast diseases and the prepartum imaging of congenital diseases. Women’s imagers work closely with maternal fetal medicine, OB/Gyn and other primary care providers, breast surgeons, pathologists and oncologists.

Goals and objectives

  • List two imaging modalities with no proven risk to the fetus in a pregnant patient?
  • Explain how a mammogram is performed in terms a patient would understand
  • Compare the role of screening mammography versus diagnostic mammography
  • Summarize the risks of screening mammography versus the risks of not screening.
  • Discuss current recommendations for screening mammography based on NNT and US Task Force
  • Describe the utility of ultrasound in the work-up of a breast mass
  • Explain the advantages of transvaginal ultrasonography compared to a transabdominal pelvic ultrasound
  • Construct the appropriate imaging approach for common diagnostic scenarios including: First trimester vaginal bleeding, post menopausal vaginal bleeding, female pelvic pain, staging of gynecologic malignancies