Association Offers Courses Online Via ACR Campus
RBMA Announces Quest Award Winners; Charlotte Radiology Wins Best of Show
New Book on Mammography Addresses Tough Patient Questions

Association Offers Courses Online Via ACR Campus

The American College of Radiology, Reston, Va, a national organization serving more than 32,000 imaging professionals, is taking its continuing medical education (CME) opportunities online with the launch of a new service, the ACR Campus.

According to Lawrence P. Davis, MD, FACR, chair of the education commission for the ACR, the setting for The Waiting Room in the ACR Campus (above) “is a true-to-life waiting room in a breast-imaging center where you must interpret your patients’ studies by the end of the day. In this module, you will review a series of challenging multimodality breast-imaging cases using questions, rationales, and references.” Once completed—it takes an average of 4 hours—the interactive session provides a score and a review of any cases that were misdiagnosed. The system lets practitioners see how they fare against their peers across the country who also have participated.

The ACR Campus provides a panoply of Web-based lectures and new case-centered, virtual-reality programs on demand, 24/7, to be previewed and purchased by physicians. CME and self-assessment module (SAM) credits can be earned; other programs are intended to challenge and hone physician skills, or to enhance professional development objectives.

Some of ACR Campus’ debut lectures and challenges are:

  • Cardiac Web Lecture Series: This basic series offers lectures on instrumentation, pediatric cardiac imaging, and adult cardiac anatomy and physiology;
  • Virtual Lecture Hall: This customizable modality- and anatomy-based curriculum features radiology experts;
  • Doctor Challenger: Providing case-based challenges, this area enables participants to test their skills against those of an online “opponent”; and
  • The Waiting Room: Here, physicians can test their acumen on breast imaging via an educational challenge in an interactive waiting room that features a virtual lobby of patients awaiting a physician consult.

Other features soon to be launched include Grand Rounds, in which a new topic presented in monthly “rounds” is designed for both radiology residency programs and practicing radiologists; and Obstetric Ultrasound, a program offered in conjunction with the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound (SRU), Reston, Va.

Course pricing, available in detail online, can be as low as $75 for an ACR member or $350 for a nonmember, with special discounts for residents.

ACR Executive Director Harvey L. Neiman, MD, emphasized the flexibility of online learning. “We are proud…to make these dynamic and valuable education opportunities available to radiologists whenever and wherever their unique schedule allows,” he said.

For more information about the ACR Campus, take a campus tour online at

—C. Vasko

RBMA Announces Quest Award Winners; Charlotte Radiology Wins Best of Show

Each week’s Leading Lady is featured on The LINK’s Web site. Shown are the winners for the week of June 30—Chris Christ and Barbara Hutchins for their work with the Operation Helmet Organization, a nonprofit organization that provides helmet kits to US Marines.

The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA), Irvine, Calif, announced the winners of the 2006 Quest Awards at its annual meeting, held June 4–7 in Miami Beach, Fla. The Quest Awards recognize excellence in marketing programs for radiology practices; they are intended to help practices nationwide improve the quality and effectiveness of their own marketing endeavors.

Taking home the highest possible honor—platinum Best of Show—was the LINK Leading Ladies cause-related marketing program from Charlotte Radiology, Charlotte, NC. Charlotte Radiology Breast Centers, which serve 85,000 women each year at 10 locations, sponsored a program on a local radio station—107.9 WLNK (LINK)—in 2005. Each week, a “Leading Lady” of the community was selected by the radio station from a pool of nominees. Many “Leading Ladies” were Charlotte Radiology patients, and the centers used the weekly radio spots to promote mammograms, bone-density screenings, endovenous laser treatment for varicose veins, and uterine artery embolization for uterine fibroids.

Nomination boxes for Leading Ladies were placed in all 10 breast centers, as well as four imaging centers. In addition, Charlotte Radiology staff members spoke with the station’s on-air personalities Matt and Ramona, who announced each week’s “Leading Lady” and spoke with her on the air about her work in the community. She also received an award, a gift basket, and a gift certificate to a local restaurant from the radio station.

“Our staff was very supportive and involved in this sponsorship,” said Shawna Plate, marketing specialist at Charlotte Radiology. “Our staff and patients were encouraged to nominate women making a difference in our community. We also involved staff members in the program by taking them once a week to the radio station to record segments with Matt and Ramona. From radiologists to technologists to schedulers, we gave everyone the chance to speak on the radio with Matt and Ramona.”

Charlotte Radiology benefited from the sponsorship by gaining a year-round venue for reminding patients of the importance of mammograms and other women’s health screenings and procedures.

Zoom Imaging, Bethlehem, Pa, and UVA Imaging, Charlottesville, Va, took home the second- and third-place honors in the Best of Show category.

This is the second year RBMA has offered the Quest Awards. All winning entries will be presented at the RBMA 2006 Fall Educational Conference in Phoenix, October 22–24.

—C. Vasko

New Book on Mammography Addresses Tough Patient Questions

Madelon L. Finkel, PhD, is hoping to answer many women’s questions in her new book, Understanding the Mammography Controversy: Science, Politics and Breast Cancer Screening.

Radiologists might want to recommend a new book to OB/GYNs and others who refer mammography patients. Understanding the Mammography Controversy: Science, Politics, and Breast Cancer Screening by Madelon L. Finkel, PhD, director of the Office of Global Health Education at Weill Cornell Medical College, Ithaca, NY, sorts through the tangle of information publicly available about mammography procedures and breast cancer, providing the lay reader—for whom the book is intended—with an opportunity to take a look at the facts and judge for herself whether mammography is the right choice for her.

A valuable educational tool for mammography patients, the book gleans facts from the deluge of attention-seizing headlines.

“Take a look at all the major breast-screening trials,” Finkel said. “When you look at that, you’re getting conflicting results. Some show that it’s beneficial, and some show that it’s not. More to the point, each of the study methodologies was so different, and there were methodological flaws in there. So how does a layperson looking at [all of these results] understand what to do?”

Many women are at a loss when it comes to making well-informed decisions regarding mammography. A barrage of studies and accompanying news stories report on everything from statistics on risk factors to the medical justifiability, or lack thereof, of periodic diagnostic screenings.

“Do I get a mammogram at the magic age of 50, do I get it at the magic age of 40—what’s right for me? I wanted to take the science and turn it into a language that an intelligent layperson could understand,” Finkel said. “I go over these studies, and I show why the researchers came to their conclusions. And then, in the latter part of the book, I explain what it all means.”

In addition to such easy-to-understand features as a timeline that tracks the shifting public advice on mammography and traces it to disagreements in the medical world, the book compiles practical information on breast cancer for women—like how to administer a self-examination, guidelines for talking to one’s physician, lists of support groups for patients, and resources for clinical trials.

Understanding the Mammography Controversy also addresses issues still under debate in the medical and public spheres: What is the ideal age at which to start mammogram screening? How frequently is a screening necessary? Is screening with mammography “unjustified,” as two studies published in The Lancet in 2001 and 2002 suggested?

The answer to the last question, at least, is clear: Currently recommended as an annual screening for women aged 50 to 69, mammography is the only population-based breast cancer diagnostic method proven to save lives.

“One day, people in my field will say, ‘You better not eat butter, that’ll kill you; you need margarine,’ ” Finkel said. “The next day, they’ll come out and say, ‘You better not eat margarine, but butter’s okay.’ We confuse people. The science is confusing. My point is to try to help women understand what the issues are, so they can make informed decisions for themselves.”

—C. Vasko


  1. Gøtzsche PC, Olsen O. Is screening for breast cancer with mammography justifiable? Lancet. 2000;355:129–134. Available at: Accessed July 7, 2006.
  2. Olsen O, Gøtzsche PC. Cochrane review on screening for breast cancer with mammography. Lancet. 2001;358:1340–1342. Available at: Accessed July 7, 2006.

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