Dr. Andrew Boyer has always been an educator. A former ski instructor and
children’s ski race coach in his home state of Vermont, today Dr.
Boyer enjoys empowering patients at Mid-Columbia Medical Center through
“We in the medical community have our own language, and I think we
often forget that,” Dr. Boyer said. “With a little extra time
and a little education, patients can start to understand the disease process
and treatment options, which helps them participate in their own care.”
A board certified radiologist, Dr. Boyer is the director of mammography
at MCMC, and a vital part of the hospital’s breast care team.
The Breast Center at MCMC offers a comprehensive and multidisciplinary
approach to breast health, integrating screening, early diagnosis, patient
advocacy and treatment. The Breast Center team encompasses three specialties:
medical oncology, radiation oncology and surgical oncology.
Most breast imaging patients do not have cancer, Dr. Boyer said. But interpreting
medical images is an art as well as a science—especially with mammograms.
“Breast cancer can hide behind normal tissue, and sometimes normal
tissue can look like breast cancer,” he said. “A lot of it
is related to experience, not just what you get in a textbook. There’s
only one way to do that. It’s to read a lot of mammograms.”
Dr. Boyer and his radiologist colleagues all do everything from reading
x-rays to ultrasounds. What makes him unique is his fellowship training.
Dr. Boyer gained extensive experience interpreting mammograms and other
medical images by completing a Breast and Body Imaging Fellowship at William
Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. The one year fellowship offers
extensive clinical experience in breast and body imaging, including biopsies,
CT scan, MRI, sonography and other diagnostic tools.
He loves helping patients and their referring physicians find answers.
Diagnosing a patient based on a medical image is kind of like solving
a puzzle, but he said an important part of his job is being there for
a patient newly diagnosed with cancer.
“To me, I actually view it as an honor,” he said. “That
person on their worst day is putting a lot of trust in me to help them
figure out the next steps. I view it as an honor to be in a position where
I can do my best to take care of that patient on their worst day.”
That focus on patient care is the norm at the Breast Center at MCMC. Everybody
on the breast care team is focused on providing the best possible medical
care and patient experience, he said.
“Unlike many hospitals, all of our mammogram and ultrasound technicians
are certified to perform breast ultrasounds,” Dr. Boyer said. “Everybody
that a patient would interact with along the way is very well educated,
and very well certified, and focused on providing both a good patient
experience and top-notch patient care.”