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Breast Imaging Fellowship (Arizona)

Doctor reviewing radiologic images

Overview

The Breast Imaging Fellowship at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Arizona offers unparalleled patient-centered training in breast imaging. 

As one of the premiere breast imaging centers in the Southwest, fellows enjoy a balanced curriculum including the fundamentals of breast imaging as well as education and experience with the most advanced breast imaging techniques. A fast-paced and busy academic practice, our fellowship promotes a healthy learning environment while also affording trainees the opportunity to interact with and learn from referring providers from all fields of breast health, including internal medicine, surgery, medical/radiation oncology, and pathology.

Our fellows become highly proficient breast imagers functioning at an expert subspecialty level. They are introduced to numerous imaging technologies, including modalities not offered at many institutions. This specialized breast training prepares them to thrive in both academic or private practice settings. Many of our graduating fellows find themselves future leaders of their imaging facilities.

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As a breast imaging fellow, you will experience a curriculum that provides training in all aspects of breast imaging, coupled with the strong mentors and resources of Mayo Clinic.

Program highlights include:

  • Nationally respected educators and researchers
  • A high faculty-to-fellow ratio that allows you to learn directly from experts in breast imaging
  • Advanced imaging techniques such as Contrast-enhanced Digital Mammography (CEDM) and Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI)
  • Support for those interested in research and publications
  • Rotations in the breast clinic with surgeons and oncologists, learning the treatment and management side of breast health

You will also enjoy a flexible rotation schedule that is designed to compliment your interests as well as future practice needs. 

Did you find your perfect breast imaging job that requires you to also read PET/CT or Body MRI? No problem! Our program offers up to eight weeks of elective time in other areas of radiology so you can refine your skills prior to entering independent practice. 

Our program's affiliations with other Mayo campuses in Rochester, Minnesota, and Jacksonville, Florida, along with Arizona State University provide a diverse mix of patients, institutions, and experience.

Additionally, the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas provide ideal weather in a growing and vibrant location.

Accreditation

The Breast Imaging Fellowship at Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus is an unaccredited program as there are no accrediting bodies for breast imaging fellowships.

Certification

Our graduates have a 100% pass rate on their ABR Certification Exam.

Program history

Our first breast imaging fellowship began in 2000 and we have trained over 50 fellows since. We currently accept up to two breast imaging fellows each year. We also have a strong residency program of 16 residents per class but are very careful to not dilute fellow or resident training by accommodating too many learners on any given rotation.

Frequently asked questions (and answers)

What is the patient population like?

The majority of patients come from Arizona, surrounding states and the Midwest. We see a strong mix of both screening and diagnostic patients each day.

In general, our patient population is an older population, often with a history of current or prior malignancy, making our fellows proficient at handling complex decisions. Often, patients are referred to Mayo Clinic for evaluation by renowned experts, bringing complex cases from outside institutions to higher levels of care.

Ethnic diversity among patients is widely abundant, and underserved populations are encountered at Mayo facilities.

How much autonomy will I have?

The intent of our breast imaging fellowship is to produce proficient and competent radiologists. Fellows are directly responsible for their patients, and there is ownership and accountability in caring for each patient.

Our program relies on a team-based model to achieve these goals. On rotations, teams consist of fellows, residents, attending radiologists, technologists, and nurses who together are responsible for providing the utmost care to our patients.

As the fellowship is only one year, we work hard to develop the skills of our fellows so that they can be confident independent breast radiologists. Fellows will perform biopsies from day one and will continue this throughout the year.

Fellows are also expected to quickly learn to manage the complexities of a diagnostic imaging day and often find themselves able to run the service efficiently by mid year, using the latter half of the year to refine those skills.

What’s the work-life balance like?

Our fellowship program is designed to provide fellows a solid education in breast imaging that prepares them to thrive in both academic or private practice settings. Fortunately, these academic rigors still afford fellows and their families the opportunity to enjoy activities outside of the workplace afforded by the large Phoenix metropolitan area. Phoenix currently ranks as the fifth-largest city in the U.S., with 4.3 million people in the greater Phoenix area.

The city offers all of the cultural opportunities of a larger U.S. city, including access to professional sporting events, theater, arts, and various leisure activities such as shopping, golf, and fine dining.

Many of our fellows have spouses, significant others, or children, and the program provides enough flexibility to allow them to learn while still enjoying their families. We are a medium-sized radiology department. Fellows and residents often find themselves more than just colleagues — they are close friends, frequently interacting outside the work environment and reporting overall satisfaction with the work-life balance.

What is the dress code?

The dress code at Mayo Clinic emphasizes maintaining a professional appearance.

In the past, this has been synonymous with suits and ties for men and suits or dresses with hosiery for women. The dress code no longer has the stringent limitations that one may think.

Fellows wear scrubs on appropriate inpatient services, and they wear a white coat instead of a suit jacket in many settings. For women, the requirement for nylons has been dropped, as long as the standard of a professional appearance is maintained.

Victor Pizzitola, M.D.

Director's welcome

Our radiologists LOVE to teach and are committed to cultivating excellent breast imagers who not only achieve expertise in the fundamentals of breast radiology, but who also gain unparalleled skills in advanced imaging techniques often not found at other fellowship training programs.

Vic Pizzitola, M.D.
Breast Imaging Fellowship Program Director

Troy Graybeal

Meet our trainees

The program lends itself to the continuous improvement of each learner in such a fashion that one can’t help but depart the experience a better radiologist. I would recommend this program without reservation and I believe it to be, hands down, the best fellowship training experience obtainable.

Troy Graybeal, M.D.
2018 Breast Imaging Fellowship Graduate

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Choosing Mayo Clinic

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Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ

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