Amy K. Patel, MD, Chair of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Radiology Advocacy Network and RADPAC®, contributed this piece.
In September 2022, I was incredibly honored to be named the Kansas City Chiefs Fan of the Year. I love this team with all my heart since I was born and raised in Chillicothe, Missouri, and I was chosen for this honor by the Chiefs due to my love of the team and my community impact as I work tirelessly to bridge the gap to breast care disparities and access. Returning to the area in which I was raised in 2018 to practice medicine and serving Chiefs Kingdom has truly been a dream come true, and I am cherishing this special moment in my life.
I was the first physician chosen for this honor, and I used this national platform to raise awareness of who we are as radiologists and the integral role we play in patient care. I also took this opportunity to amplify education about early detection and annual screening mammography beginning at age 40 as well as being risk assessed by age 30 to see if earlier surveillance is warranted, and what that means for patients and families. I have had such a warm reception, from all the media engagements I’ve had for this honor, both locally and nationally, and the discussion was usually 50/50 in that they wanted me to talk about breast radiology and breast cancer, which is a huge win in our book! In fact, I have radio shows and podcasts with a predominantly male audience asking me to come back to talk more about breast health! We have such great potential to reach a faction we may not have previously, and I understand the gravity of this as we work to tirelessly educate the entire public on this topic, regardless of gender.
Some highlights included being on the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine, attending the NFL Honors Ceremony the Thursday before the Super Bowl, attending the Super Bowl where the 32 Fans of the Year were recognized on the field before the game, being on NFL Game Day before the Super Bowl and being recognized at the Sports Illustrated Party the evening before the Super Bowl. I also had the honor of meeting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on more than one occasion and have formed a friendship with him as his mother passed away from breast cancer and the cause is very near and dear to his heart.
I have deeply appreciated everyone’s support, and especially from the house of radiology! The warm reception and encouragement has meant more than words can express, filling my heart with gratitude to be a part of our field.
I am proud that we as a breast radiology and cancer community are reaching new heights as we work tirelessly to save the most lives and life years saved. I am living proof that one radiologist can make an impact on a larger scale.
Go Chiefs and go National Breast Cancer Awareness!