University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

DEPARTMENT OF Radiology ~ 2015 Annual Report

Kristen DeStigter, M.D., Interim Chair

The Department of Radiology continues to gain national and international prestige through cutting-edge quality improvement programs, clinical excellence, technological advancement, radiology educational innovation, and global health initiatives.

The department represents the only 24/7 subspecialty radiology referral center in the region, staffed by fellowship trained board-certified radiologists in all of the subspecialties of radiology. Our radiologists participate in over 60 transdisciplinary conferences per month at our institution, serve in leadership roles on many internal and external committees, and during the past year have been invited speakers at numerous conferences. We have a strong and competitive residency training program with 24 residents. This year, we developed a plan with the Office of Medical Student Education to integrate radiology early in the medical student curriculum, with lectures in the Human Structure and Function course and hands-on imaging workshops in the Cardiovascular, Renal and Respiratory Systems course.

The department has expanded its imaging “high reliability” program. In addition to a computed tomography (CT) monitoring system that tracks the lifetime radiation dose for patients, the department is in the process of integrating a decision support software tool into the radiology test ordering process that helps providers know which radiology test is the most appropriate for the disease condition or clinical question being asked. New software in interventional radiology has reduced radiation exposure by up to 50 percent. The department is also using new processes to monitor outcomes for patients when a follow-up radiology test is recommended — all of these measures help to ensure the highest level of quality and safety.

The department has experienced clinical advancements in the last year. In breast imaging, we have increased the use of 3D mammography (tomosynthesis) for screening and diagnostic studies, with 85 percent of studies being performed with the new technique. This has helped reduce our “callback” mammography rate and increased the cancer detection rate. The 3D technology also helps to expedite the diagnostic workup, saving time, anxiety and cost for patients.

The UVM Radiology Lung Cancer Screening Program has provided a means for detection of early stage lung cancer with improved survival. The Lung Cancer Screening Program has been successfully coordinated with the UVM Lung Transdisciplinary Team, offering patients a wide array of treatment options and clinical trials for lung cancer. The UVM Department of Radiology was one of the first sites in the nation to receive the American College of Radiology Designated Lung Cancer Screening certification, which distinguishes this service to patients and providers as providing high quality lung cancer screening services. This service was extended to examinations performed at Central Vermont Medical Center.

Radiology faculty and residents are academically active, presenting abstracts at national and international meetings, co-authoring textbooks, and publishing widely in academic journals. Department faculty collaborated with the departments of Pediatrics, Neurology, Psychology, Psychiatry, Surgery, Anesthesia, and the University of Vermont Cancer Center. The UVM MRI Center was selected to be the lead Philips site for a large $200 million NIH-funded multi-center study of “Adolescent Behavior and Cognitive Development.” The study includes 10,000 children followed over a period of 10 years. Last summer, faculty members from Radiology and Cardiology collaborated to deliver an echocardiography program for detection of rheumatic heart disease to clinics in rural Uganda. As key thought leaders and scientists for industry partners, we inform state-of-the-art imaging technology and advance the field of radiology.

Last modified January 28 2016 10:36 AM