Radiologists' Interpretive Skills in Screening Vs. Diagnostic Mammography

Are They Related?

Published in: Clinical Imaging, v. 40, no. 6, Nov.-Dec. 2016, p. 1096-1103

Posted on on August 24, 2016

by Joann G. Elmore, Andrea J. Cook, Andy Bogart, Patricia A. Carney, Berta M. Geller, Stephen H. Taplin, Diana S. Buist, Tracy Onega, Christoph I. Lee, Diana L. Miglioretti


This study aims to determine whether radiologists who perform well in screening also perform well in interpreting diagnostic mammography.

Materials and Methods

We evaluated the accuracy of 468 radiologists interpreting 2,234,947 screening and 196,164 diagnostic mammograms. Adjusting for site, radiologist, and patient characteristics, we identified radiologists with performance in the highest tertile and compared to those with lower performance.


A moderate correlation was noted for radiologists' accuracy when interpreting screening versus their accuracy on diagnostic examinations: sensitivity (rspearman=0.51, 95% CI: 0.22, 0.80; P=.0006) and specificity (rspearman=0.40, 95% CI: 0.30, 0.49; P<.0001).


Different educational approaches to screening and diagnostic imaging should be considered.

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