The Radiology Firing Line Podcast: Breast Density Legislation
It's attending vs. resident in a debate on a hot topic in breast imaging.
It's attending vs. resident in a debate on a hot topic in breast imaging. Today we're introducing the first mini-debate in the new Radiology Firing Line podcast. In our inaugural installment, the topic is breast density legislation. Saurabh (Harry) Jha, MBBS, from the University of Pennsylvania, takes on University of Kansas, Wichita chief resident Amy Patel, MD. C. Matthew Hawkins, MD, from Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, moderates the discussion.
These short audio interactions were in part designed to get residents more comfortable discussing current events facing radiology with their peers and attendings, other medical personnel, patients, media, and legislators. However, the podcast is not just geared toward residents. Each episode brings together different perspectives on current controversies with the goal of supporting more informed radiology citizens.
The Firing Line is the brainchild of Jha and Hawkins. After the two enjoyed an evening of spirited conversation at last year's ACR annual meeting, a great idea blossomed. In addition to watching formal staged debates at large conferences and reading carefully crafted point-counterpoint journal articles and opinion pieces from authority figures, the two decided we could all use a little more spontaneous, relatively informal, passionate-but-polite verbal sparring in our everyday professional lives.
Today Radiology Firing Line tackles one of radiology's most polarizing issues. As you are likely aware, breast density legislation has been adopted in 24 states to date. Laws vary by state and generally require that women be informed about the density of their breasts on mammograms. Laws may also require that patients receive information on the limitations of mammography and their options for supplemental screening.
Our guests take on some difficult questions around breast density legislation. Why did this legislation arise? Was this sort of law inevitable? Could breast density legislation actually be harmful? Will notification requirements lead to over-utilization of imaging?
Having listened to the debate, do you agree with one position or another? Or does the answer lie somewhere between the opposing viewpoints? If your state has enacted a breast density law, how has this impacted your practice? What are your patients asking about with respect to breast density legislation?
Want to learn more about this topic? Read more in the following articles from the JACR®:
"Should Women Be Informed of Breast Density?" by LL Fajardo; JACR. January 2013
"The Density Conundrum: Does Legislation Help or Hurt?" by ML Smith; JACR. December 2013
"Impact of the California Breast Density Law on Primary Care Physicians" by KA Khong, et al; JACR. December 2014
"Dense Breast Legislation in the United States: State of the States" by SF Dehkordy and RD Carlos; JACR. December 2013
"Patient Awareness of Breast Density and Interest in Supplemental Screening Tests: Comparison of an Academic Facility and a County Hospital" by L Trinh, et al; JACR. March 2015
"Breast Density Legislation: Discussion of Patient Utilization and Subsequent Direct Financial Ramifications for Insurance Providers" by J Sobotka and C Hinrichs; JACR. July 2015
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