July 11, 2022

Women in Radiology Spotlight: Q&A With Patricia Balthazar, MD, CIIP

Anushree Rai, MBBS

Patricia Balthazar, MD, CIIP

Patricia Balthazar, MD, CIIP, is a distinguished Abdominal Radiologist and Imaging Informaticist at Emory University School of Medicine. She completed her Diagnostic Radiology Residency at Emory University in 2020 followed by an Abdominal Imaging Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. She actively serves on several national society committees with leadership roles including ACR® Junior Representative for the Association of American Medical Colleges Council on Faculty and Academic Societies. Dr. Balthazar is a prolific health services researcher with more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, several awards and multiple grants, including the prestigious RSNA Research & Education Foundation Resident/Fellow Research Grant and the Association of University Radiologists GE Radiology Research Academic Fellowship Award. She also serves as Assistant Editor for RadioGraphics and has special interest in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Which personal characteristic has been most important for your success in radiology?
I believe that determination and adaptability are the most important characteristics that led to where I am today. Determination helps me establish goals, while adaptability allows me to find the best way to achieve them and adjust the route along the way.

How did you choose your subspecialty?
Abdominal imaging grants access to a variety of activities in academic radiology, which is something I enjoy. It allows me to read all imaging modalities and see a diverse range of diseases in all the different organs of the abdomen and pelvis. The quick patient interactions on fluoroscopy days are quite rewarding, while high-end MRI exams are very intellectually stimulating. I still learn something new every day.

How did you get involved in leadership at an institutional/national level?
I first got involved in leadership at the national level by volunteering to serve as the ACR RFS Education Liaison as a second-year resident. That experience taught me a lot about organized medicine, advocacy and networking, which led to other leadership roles. I highly recommend getting involved in the ACR RFS if you are a trainee interested in leadership.

What are some ways in which trainees can contribute to diversity efforts?
Trainees can contribute to diversity efforts in our field by serving as role models and mentors for underrepresented minorities applying for residency or medical school. Since trainees have gone through medical school or the residency selection process more recently than any faculty, they are uniquely positioned to play an active mentorship role. This can be done by volunteering at your local institution, national medical society or even on social media.