Radiologists' performance and their enjoyment of interpreting screening mammograms

Berta M. Geller, Erin J.A. Bowles, Hee Yon Sohng, R. James Brenner, Diana L. Miglioretti, Patricia A. Carney, Joann G. Elmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. One might speculate that radiologists who enjoy mammography may exhibit better performance than radiologists who do not. MATERIALS AND METHODS. One hundred thirty-one radiologists at three Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) registries completed a survey about their characteristics, clinical practices, and attitudes related to screening mammography. Survey results were linked with BCSC performance data for 662,084 screening and 33,977 diagnostic mammograms. Using logistic regression, we modeled the odds of an abnormal interpretation, cancer detection, sensitivity, and specificity among radiologists who reported they enjoy interpreting screening mammograms compared with those who do not. RESULTS. Overall, 44.3% of radiologists reported not enjoying interpreting screening mammograms. Radiologists who reported enjoying interpreting screening mammograms were more likely to be women, spend at least 20% of their time in breast imaging, have a primary academic affiliation, read more than 2,000 mammograms per year, and be salaried. Enjoyment was not associated with screening mammography performance. Among diagnostic mammograms, there was a significant increase in sensitivity among radiologists who reported enjoyment (85.2%) compared with those who did not (78.2%). In models adjusting for radiologist characteristics, similar trends were found; however, no statistically significant associations remained. CONCLUSION. Almost one half of radiologists actively interpreting mammograms do not enjoy that part of their job. Once we adjusted for radiologist and patient characteristics, we found that reported enjoyment was not related to performance in our study, although suggestive trends were noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-369
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Breast cancer screening
  • Breast imaging specialists
  • Mammographers
  • Practice of radiology
  • Radiologists
  • Screening mammography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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