A program to improve mammography skills of practicing radiologic technologists

Victoria P. Gaw, University of Massachusetts Medical School
S. M. Bush
C. J. D'Orsi
Mary E. Costanza, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Andrew Karellas, University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
M. Denise Dowd, Children's Mercy Hospital
Jane G. Zapka, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Document Type Article


Periodic screening mammography and clinical breast examination have significantly reduced the breast cancer mortality rate in the United States for women 50 years of age and older. The Breast Cancer Screening Project of the University of Massachusetts, Worcester, developed a pilot mammography continuing-education program for radiologic technologists that included a didactic and a clinical on-site, hands-on training workshop with preinstruction, postinstruction, and six-month follow-up evaluations to improve their mammography skills. Because of a small sample size, a high dropout rate, and limitations in study design, posttest gains cannot be attributed to the program. Most significant is the finding of wide variability in radiologic technologists' mammography skills, which may compromise mammogram quality and the value of such screening.