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In Focus: Ann PodraskyAnn Podrasky, MD, FSRU, FAIUM, earned a medical degree and residency training in diagnostic radiology from the University of California in San Francisco. She served as a fellow at UCSF in ultrasound and computed tomography. She also completed a fellowship in magnetic resonance imaging at Huntington Hospital. Podrasky has been Radiology Associates of South Florida (RASF) section chief of ultrasound for over 25 years, guiding the expansion of ultrasound in the practice.

The Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound has elected Podrasky as a Fellow, a prestigious group of 114 North American experts in ultrasound. She is also an associate professor of radiology at FIU and an adjunct professor at Miami-Dade College Medical Campus. She is medical editor for a major textbook, “Diagnostic Ultrasound: Abdomen and Pelvis.” She is a journal reviewer for three journals, the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, Ultrasound Quarterly and Abdominal Radiology and has twice been recognized as Reviewer of the Year for the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. She has been active on multiple national committees in her specialty and additionally served as an oral board examiner in ultrasound for the American Board of Radiology. Podrasky has presented topics at national and local radiology conferences and has published several papers, including for the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria for Women’s Imaging.

Podrasky developed the Thyroid Ultrasound Clinic at Baptist Outpatient Center to promote excellence in thyroid diagnosis and thyroid cancer follow-up. She also has a strong interest in gynecologic and abdominal ultrasound, including ultrasound for liver surveillance, diagnosis and elastography. She has implemented the only contrast enhanced ultrasound program in South Florida. Also, Podrasky leads a team of radiologists with expertise in fetal MRI.

She is a busy individual.

Podrasky’s goal since childhood was to become a doctor and when she discovered radiology she knew what her specialty would be in the medical field.

“Since I was young, my goal was to become a doctor. In medical school, I developed an interest in radiology during an elective when I realized I had the skill set for it,” she said. “From early in my radiology residency, I found an interest in ultrasound from my mentors to learn to scan and interpret the imaging.”

Podrasky continues to enjoy imaging, especially working in ultrasound.

“There are many things I love about my job. Ultrasound is a collaborative field and great for mentoring,” she said. “My sonographers are the radiologist’s eyes and hands, so I am very rewarded to work with them to train and improve their skills and knowledge. We are all learning something every day, just when you think you have seen it all.”

The future of diagnostic imaging is almost certain to include more artificial intelligence (AI). Podrasky also expects to see advances in software and hardware.

“Besides new efficiency tools and AI, we continue to see new software and hardware developments to keep ultrasound an advanced tool within radiology,” she said. “We have been using contrast and elastography for several years, but we look to have new applications in different parts of the body with new software and as evidence develops.”

She enjoys helping others and teaching the next generation of imaging professionals, but her greatest achievement is a reflection of her work and the understanding of her specialty.

“My greatest accomplishment was rising to the top of my field, being elected as a Fellow in the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound, and then later a Fellow in the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine,” Podrasky said.

However, her focus is often on others and helping those around her reach new heights.

“I approach leadership by treating all persons in the section with respect, setting expectations and coaching to raise performance. I apply both standardization and individualization to exam performance, to give the patient the best answer for their individual problem,” Podrasky said. “Close teamwork is vital, in particular with our clinical specialists in ultrasound at the various facilities, and we all work to accomplish the mission of consistency and excellence in the ultrasound section.”

“I had incredible mentors at UC-San Francisco in the ultrasound field: Drs. Roy Filly, Faye Laing and Brooke Jeffrey. They taught me not only the physical part – how to scan, but how to think about our cases. I hope to teach others in the same way, to use logic, but also excite to their passion for ultrasound,” she added.

When not working or teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband. They have two adult sons – one is a U.S. Naval Officer and the other is finishing college.

In Focus Nomination

  • The In Focus feature shines a spotlight on radiology and imaging directors from throughout the nation. We share information about their education and career with the readers of ICE. The article serves as a look at leaders who are making a positive impact and who serve as role models and mentors in the field.
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