Women’s Imaging Fellowship

The University of Southern California offers a one-year training program in Women’s Imaging. This program is designed to provide trainees with the unique clinical and technical skills required to practice this specialty. The education program is organized to provide comprehensive, in-depth training and experience in the evaluation and diagnosis of patients in all aspects of Women’s Imaging. It also provides a supervised experience in performance of image guided procedures. Imaging modalities included in the training program include screening and diagnostic digital mammography; breast, obstetric, and pelvic ultrasound; and breast and pelvic MRI. Image guided breast procedures include pre-operative wire localizations, percutaneous ultrasound guided aspirations/core biopsies, stereotactic guided core biopsies, MRI guided core biopsies, and ductography. Image guided pelvic procedures include hystersalpingography and saline sonohysterography.

In addition to technical and imaging training, the program provides trainees with a structured experience in the clinical assessment of patients with benign and malignant breast and pelvic disease. The fellow works in an environment that promotes the development of a medical knowledge base relevant to breast cancer treatment and that includes an understanding of the pathophysiology of the underlying diseases. The training program provides opportunities for research into new technologies.

Fellows

The program has a minimum of 5 faculty members – all on the USC campus. The fellowship program is designed for one fellow per year.

Program Director / Faculty

  • Program Director: Dr. Linda Hovanessian Larsen is a USC faculty member certified by the American Board of Radiology in Diagnostic Radiology and has a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Nuclear Radiology.
  • Faculty: All 4 other faculty members are MQSA and board-certified radiologists, specializing in breast and women’s imaging. All aspects of Women’s Imaging are represented within the faculty. All faculty members demonstrate a commitment to the subspecialty as documented by membership in professional societies, publications in the field, and ongoing acquisition of CME credits in the field on a yearly basis. This faculty provides fellows with didactic teaching, hands-on supervision of clinical procedures, and direct supervision of patient care including management decisions, interpretive skills, and consultative aspects of the specialty.

Facilities and Resources

  • The Lee Breast Center at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center: This center has state-of-the-art equipment including 3 dedicated digital mammography units, 1 ultrasound breast scanner with Doppler capabilities, and a prone digital stereotactic biopsy table. The fellow will be interpreting screening and diagnostic mammograms, and performing core biopsies both with ultrasound and stereotactic guidance. The radiology faculty at the Lee Breast Center work closely with the breast surgeons so that they can diagnose and biopsy patients quickly prior to surgery. Therefore, several procedures are done weekly. An integrated breast conference is held every Thursday in which surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, and oncologists meet to discuss interesting and difficult cases with pathologic correlation. This is an excellent learning experience.
  • LAC+USC County Mammography: The fellow will have an in-depth training in evaluating and interpreting diagnostic mammograms. Our state-of-the-art equipment includes 4 dedicated digital mammography units, 2 ultrasound breast scanners, a prone digital stereotactic biopsy table, and the hand-held Mammotome biopsy device. Ample opportunities are provided to gain experience in core biopsies and wire localizations. Other special procedures in the division include galactography and pneumocystography. Our close working relationship with the departments of surgery, pathology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology markedly increases our knowledge of breast disease from many perspectives. We all meet weekly at the Multidisciplinary conference to discuss treatment plans for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. The division also participates in a bi-monthly departmental noon resident teaching conference.
  • LAC+USC Women’s Hospital: The majority of the imaging studies consist of pelvic and obstetric ultrasounds. Hysterosalpingograms, in addition to plain film radiography, are also performed.
  • Healthcare Center 2: This state-of-the-art outpatient imaging facility has both a 1.5T and 3T MRI unit for breast MRI. We perform about 25 breast MRIs and 2 MRI guided breast biopsies per week. The fellow plays a crucial role in the interpretation and follow up of these studies.

Patient Population

The patient population for the program is extremely broad because each of the clinical venues is unique in its focus. Each of the facilities at which the fellow trains has a unique patient population. LAC+USC Medical Center treats the underserved of LA County and brings a large population of patients with advanced breast cancer. USC Lee Breast Center at the Norris Cancer Hospital provides a high level of care to patients with unusual and complex breast cancers and is a leader in the management of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), the earliest form of breast cancer.

Application

Please complete the USC Radiology Fellowship Application and return it to the contact listed at the end of the application.