Spring 2016 • Volume 35 • Number 2

Susan Johnston Ackerman, M.D
Professor of Radiology
Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs
Director of Ultrasound




For those who were unable to attend, I understand that the AAWR-sponsored reception at the AUR meeting was very successful.  This quarter’s newsletter features an article on this event.


The AAWR also has several events at the annual ACR meeting in May, which includes the first Women’s Caucus to be held on Sunday, May 15th from 9:00 – 10:00 A.M.   If you are planning on attending the ACR meeting, I urge you to attend this session. We will discuss the current ACR 2016 resolutions impacting women as well as resolutions that should be submitted for 2017.

Also at the ACR national meeting on Monday, May 16th, from 7:00-8:00 am, please join Dr. Valerie Jackson for coffee, muffins and a discussion on “The Value of Getting Involved”. Register for Muffins & Coffee


The AAWR leadership will be engaging in strategic planning for the society.  You recently received an email asking you to complete a short survey.  PLEASE complete this survey and share your thoughts and ideas. 



Thanks to everyone for your help,

Susan Ackerman


AAWR at AUR 2016 Annual Meeting

Lucy Spalluto, MD 

For the first time, the AAWR hosted a reception at the Association of University Radiologists (AUR) Annual Meeting.  The reception was held in the CityView Room on the 32nd floor of the San Diego Manchester Grand Hyatt.   This venue offered participants stunning views of Downtown San Diego and the San Diego Waterfront.


The event was extremely well attended by women (and a few men!) from institutions across the country.  Attendants ranged from residents and fellows to early and later career faculty members. Discussions centered on strengthening the roles of women in radiology departments and methods to encourage more women to enter the field of radiology.


The AUR is extremely supportive of Women in Radiology, as evidenced by strong female representation on the current Executive Committee (New AUR president is 2014 AAWR president, Dr. Yoshimi Anzai!).  Additionally, several women were recognized with AUR awards this year, including 2007 AAWR president, Dr. Judith Amorosa, who received the AMSER Excellence in Education Award.  One of the highlights of the AUR annual meeting, the film competition is named after Dr. Kay Vydereney , 1984 AAWR president.   Furthermore, the 2015 Gold medal award was given to Dr. Kimberly Applegate, 2003 AAWR president.


We hope this will be the first of many very successful AAWR events held in conjunction with the AUR Annual Meeting



2016 Recipient of the AAMC Professional Development Seminar for Early-Career Women Faculty

The AAWR is pleased to announce that the 2016 recipient of the Early Career Faculty Professional Leadership Award is Dr. Lucy B. Spalluto.  This award provided by the AAWR Research and Education Foundation will sponsor Dr. Spalluto to attend the AAMC Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar.  This three and a half day seminar provides an opportunity for women physicians and scientists holding medical school appointments at the instructor or assistant professor level to hone the knowledge and skills required to successfully navigate the academic health enterprise and to continue down the path to leadership.


Lucy B. Spalluto, MD is a board certified radiologist specializing in Women’s Imaging.  She is currently an Assistant Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. Dr. Spalluto received her medical degree from the University of Virginia. After an internal medicine internship at Cabrini Medical Center in New York, NY, she attended the Diagnostic Radiology residency program at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School. Her fellowship in Women’s Imaging was completed at Vanderbilt.  Dr. Spalluto’s clinical work focuses on breast imaging and pelvic and obstetric ultrasound.


Dr. Spalluto is actively involved in patient centered research, female faculty development, and teaching residents and medical students.  She is the Co-Director of Vanderbilt’s Women in Radiology initiative and holds a grant from the American Medical Association for “Female Faculty Development in Radiology – Designing and Implementing a Module Based Educational Program.”  She serves on the ACR Commission on Patient- and Family-Centered Care, the AUR Taskforce on New Models for Research Mentoring, and is a founder of the AAWR Bookclub.

2016 Recipient Neuroradiology Leadership Award Recipient

The Foundation of the ASNR, along with American College of Radiology (ACR) and the American Association for Women Radiologists (AAWR) is pleased to announce that Dr. Amy Kotsenas from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota has been selected as the 2016 Women in Neuroradiology Leadership Award recipient.  A review committee consisting of representatives from the three organizations reviewed the submitted applications.


This Award was established to provide leadership opportunities for mid-career women in Neuroradiology with demonstrated experience and promise for leadership in Neuroradiology and/or Radiology overall.  As the Award recipient, Dr. Kotsenas has been invited to attend the 2016 ACR Radiology Leadership Institute to be held at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, September 8-11.   Congratulations Dr. Kotsenas!


Amy Kotsenas, MD is an Assistant Professor of Radiology and a board-certified neuroradiologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Her clinical expertise is in epilepsy and stroke imaging. Her research interests are focused on autoimmune neurologic disease, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, spine imaging and radiology informatics.

Dr. Kotsenas is an active member of the ASNR, AAWR and ACR. She currently co-chairs the ASNR Website and Social Media Committee. She also serves as President-elect of the Minnesota Radiological Society, is an ACR Councilor and a member of the ACR Council Steering Committee.


Women in Radiology: Exploring the Gender Disparity
Rebecca Zener, MDa, Stefanie Y. Lee, MDa,b, Kari L. Visscher, MDa, Michelle Ricketts, MDa,c,

Stacey Speer, MDa, Daniele Wiseman, MDa,b

Women constituted more than half (53%) of Canadian medical graduates applying to Canadian residency programs in 2015, yet diagnostic radiology was the first-choice discipline for only 1.5% of women, compared with 5.6% of men [1]. Despite equal success rates among men and women in obtaining radiology residency positions in Canada, this gender difference has remained relatively constant during the past decade [1, 2].

In the 2015 Canadian residency match, 25% of medical students matching into diagnostic radiology were women [1]. In contrast, women constituted 40% of all medical students who matched into a surgical specialty [1]. Similarly, in the United States, radiology ranks 17th of 20 among the largest training specialties for its proportion of women, and it is the lowest ranked of the nonsurgical specialties [3, 4].

Under representation of women in radiology has been the topic of several papers, including a review by Potterton et al [5], which discussed how positive exposure to a specialty during medical school may influence specialty choice [5]. Other studies [6, 7] have found that direct patient contact is a factor influencing specialty choice. Although a survey by Fielding et al [7] found that a lack of direct patient contact was the factor that most strongly dissuaded American clerkship students from pursuing radiology as a specialty [6], no significant gender-specific differences in factors dissuading men and women were elicited [6].

These studies point to a need for further research, as the factors that account for the significantly lower proportion of women who choose radiology, compared with that of men, are still not well understood [5, 6, 7]. Historically, in the United States, the relative attractiveness of diagnostic radiology as a specialty has been related to its economic vitality (ie, job market and salary) [8]. Overall, medical students’ knowledge of the interplay between economic factors and radiology has been suggested as a relevant factor in their selection of a specialty, but the role of gender in this context has not been examined.

The reasons underlying gender disparity in radiology training programs remain unknown. Are women who consider radiology attracted to different qualities in a specialty, compared with women who do not? Are men and women deterred from pursuing radiology as a specialty for different reasons? The purpose of this study was to investigate what factors attract Canadian medical students to and deter them from radiology, and to determine if these factors differ between women and men.


This study was fully approved by the Western University Research Ethics Board. Institutional research ethics board approval for the study was obtained from our home university, as well as from the other schools that subsequently agreed to participate in the study. Factors included in the questionnaire were identified based on the published literature, as well as discussion among study team members. The study was pilot tested, with multiple medical students rotating through our radiology department, and revised for clarity and ease of use, through multiple iterations, to minimize potential ambiguity in the questions. The main survey questions were peer reviewed by three radiologists, two radiology residents, and four medical students (Online Appendix 1).

Survey participants provided demographic data, including age, gender, medical school attended, level of training (years 1 and 2: preclerkship; years 3 and 4: clerkship), and field of study before medical school. Students who were potentially interested in considering a career in radiology were asked to identify factors that attracted them to the field. Students who were definitely not considering a career in radiology were asked to identify factors that were dissuading them from pursuing a career in radiology. Students were asked to indicate their prior radiology exposure, any previous mentoring they had received in radiology, and factors influencing their specialty choice in general.

All 14 English-language Canadian medical schools were invited to participate in the anonymous online survey hosted on SurveyMonkey.com in the 2012-2013 academic year. Eleven of the medical schools directly distributed the invitation to participate in the survey to their students, via e-mail, which contained a link to the online survey. One school posted the invitation on a notice board in their medical school. Two schools declined to distribute the survey to their students, citing frequent survey requests as the reason for not participating. Based on data from the Canadian Resident Matching Service [1], approximately 6,770 students had the opportunity to participate in the survey.

All statistical analyses were performed using commercially available software (GraphPad Prism, version 6.00, GraphPad Software, La Jolla, California). Categoric data, including the number of male and female medical students classifying a factor as important, and the corresponding proportions, with their numerators and denominators expressed as percentages, were calculated. Regarding overall specialty choice and radiology exposure, for each factor, comparisons were made between: (1) women and men; and (2) students who were considering radiology and students who were not. Subgroup analyses for each factor were performed for both men and women, based on whether they were considering radiology. Two-by-two tables were formed, using the numerators and denominators for the number of individuals who did and did not select a particular factor. Statistical analyses were performed using the Fisher exact test, with a significance level of P < .05.


In total, 917 participated in the survey, for a response rate of approximately 14%. Of these, 514 were women (56%), and 403 were men (44%). Level of training was reported by 896 students: 560 students were in preclerkship (63%); 336 were in clerkship (38%). No significant difference was found in level of training by gender. Students who were potentially interested in considering radiology numbered 291 (32%), whereas 626 students (68%) were definitely not considering radiology as a specialty. Among the former group, 109 were women (37%), and 182 were men (63%).

Radiology Exposure

Among students considering radiology as a specialty, more men did radiology-related research compared with women, whereas among students who were not considering a radiology specialty no gender-specific differences were found in radiology research experience. Among students who were not considering radiology, more men had done preclinical observerships in radiology, compared with women (Table 1).


See Full Article

ACR – Washington, DC – May 15-16, 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

9:00 am – 10:00 am Women’s Caucus


Monday, May 16, 2016

7:00 am AAWR Muffins & Coffee with Valerie P. Jackson, MD, FACR

The Value of Getting Involved

Register for Muffins & Coffee

10:00 am – 12:00 pm: AAWR session at ACR 2016

10:00 AM - 10:20 AM: From Private Practice to Academics – Lessons Learned; Lucy Spalluto, MD  

10:20 AM - 10:40 AM: From Academics to Private Practice – Lessons Learned; Amy Campbell, MD  

10:40 AM - 11:00 AM: What it Takes to Get Ahead in Private Practice; Geraldine McGinty, MBA,MD,FACR  
11:00 AM - 11:20 AM: What it Takes to Get Ahead in Academics; Cheri Canon, MD, FACR 

11:20 AM - 11:40 AM: Panel Discussion: What Were the Transition Points in Your Career?
Speaker(s) Amy Campbell, MD, Lucy Spalluto, MD,  Cheri Canon, MD, FACR, & Geraldine McGinty, MBA,MD,FACR  
11:40 AM - 12:00 PM: Questions and Answers


1:00 pm – 2:00 pm  Speed Mentoring
Register for Speed Mentoring

SPR- Chicago, Illinois- May 15- 20, 2016 
Thursday, May 19th:  Breakfast Meeting: "Pediatric Radiology Around the World"

ASTRO: Boston, MA - September 25-28, 2016
More information about AAWR events at ASTRO to follow.

RSNA: Chicago, Illinois - November 27 - December 2, 2016
AAWR Celebration Dinner November 27, 2016
More information about AAWR events at RSNA to follow.

Sign up for AAWR Meeting Updates




Kudos and Member News


Share Your Member News!! 

AAWR members are invited to share news and updates on themselves or fellow members. This is a great opportunity to publicize awards, achievements, promotions, or praise another member's accomplishments.  Member News will be published in the AAWR quarterly FOCUS Newsletter. Please include a short paragraph detailing the accomplishment. Pictures/headshots are also welcome.   Information you wish to share can be sent to info@aawr.org.
With the subject line “Member News”.  

The AAWR is pleased to welcome its newest members that joined the Association between 
January 2016 - April 2016

Sonia Bobra, MD
Heidi Edmonson, PhD
Bonnie Garon, MD

Pallavi Utukuri, MD
Amanda Baillargeon, MD
Malak Itani, MD
Valerie Stine, MD
Yoon Choo
Melanie Garcia, MS
Savannah Koch
Rama Ayyala, MD
Nandita Guha-Thakurta, MD
Kristi Hendrickson, PhD
Sanhaji Latifa, MD
Jennifer Nicholas MD, MHA
Courtney Tomblinson M, MD
Jumana Bisharat
Lilian Hanna
Sreeja Sanampudi
Chassity Stoneburgh


Chief Editor
 Dr Lucy B Spalluto

Administrative Editor
Michele Wittling
Stephanie Huppert