Dr. Charlotte Yong-Hing has been working with BC Cancer for over 10 years. She is the medical director of breast imaging at BC Cancer – Vancouver and the president-elect of the BC Radiological Society. In 2018, she founded Canadian Radiology Women to address the gender gap in the industry.
“I enjoy breast imaging because of the patient interaction and the multidisciplinary team approach to cases. It’s satisfying to be involved from screening to diagnosis to treatment and surveillance,” says Dr. Yong-Hing. “We have an amazing team of breast imaging experts at BC Cancer. The clerical staff, technologists and radiologists together provide an exceptional level of patient care.”
Radiologists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating injuries and diseases using medical imaging (radiology) procedures such as X-rays, positron emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound.
In Canada, women currently represent over half the medical student population but are underrepresented in radiology according to Dr. Yong-Hing. Since starting Canadian Radiology Women, the group has worked to advocate for improved diversity of all kinds in radiology training programs and practices across the country.
“Providing the best possible care to patients of all backgrounds happens when the diversity of the physician population reflects the diversity of the population as a whole,” says Dr. Yong-Hing. “Diversity drives innovation and can improve patient outcomes. There are significant positive impacts of increasing the role of women in medicine on the medical culture and practice, the quality of care and the organization of the health care system, with benefits for patients, learners and the system.”
Dr. Yong-Hing believes deeply in mentorship. At BC Cancer – Vancouver she oversees radiology residents and breast fellows and has organized mentorship events as part of her role with Canadian Radiology Women to encourage students to apply to radiology programs and to support radiology trainees.
Her research includes an analysis of data on diversity, gender, race/ethnicity, and Indigenous people in the field of radiology in Canada. She is designing a survey to gather diversity information from radiologists across the country as a first step in assessing and addressing the issue. Her research also includes developing practical strategies for associations and departments to implement in order to improve diversity and, ultimately, improve the lives of patients across the country.