Brooke Wolvin, MD, an attending physician for MedStar Medical Group Radiology, also serves as assistant director of MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Breast Imaging Center, and director of Breast MRI.
That may seem like a long title, but it’s illustrative of imaging technology’s critical role in breast health. And it’s a field well-suited to Dr. Wolvin’s personal and professional interests. The Potomac, Md., native earned her medical degree at New York Medical College, followed by a radiology residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weil Cornell campus. She then completed a breast imaging fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center before returning “home” to the Hospital Center in 2008.
“I chose radiology because you get to deal with a wide variety of patients,” Dr. Wolvin says. “Breast imaging is a particularly interesting niche, as it also involves a lot of patient interaction. It starts with the mammogram—still the best way to initially detect a potential breast health issue—and continues across a variety of tools to treat patients who need extra care.”
Among those valuable technologies is 3D imaging, also called tomography, which Dr. Wolvin calls “the greatest innovation in past 20 years.” She likens tomography to a CAT scan of the breast, allowing physicians to scroll through each layer of a scan to spot even the tiniest hint of a tumor or other condition.
“Along with increasing the cancer detection rate, tomography also lowers the number of patients who need to be called back for additional tests,” adds Dr. Wolvin, who has been instrumental in implementing tomography across MedStar. “It’s wonderful that we’ve been able to bring this capability to so many of our breast imaging centers.
Yet another of Dr. Wolvin’s responsibilities is serving as assistant medical director of Radiology at the new MedStar Health at Lafayette Centre in downtown Washington, D.C. There, she says, “we work with a different set of patients and issues, which enhances both our experience and the quality of our services.”
Outside the Hospital
What gives Dr. Wolvin the greatest sense of pride is setting a positive example for her two children, ages 4 and 18 months.
“My mother was a full-time professor, and proved to me that a working Mom can successfully balance work and family,” she explains. “I want my kids to have the same sense of possibility I did.”