Diana L. Lam, MD
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington School of Medicine
Mammography, ultrasound, MRI, tomosynthesis, breast interventional procedures
As a breast imager, I have a unique opportunity to be present with patients and help guide them through a critical, vulnerable time.”
Why did you decide to become a physican?
I went to college thinking that I would be a computer scientist, but soon I realized I wanted to do more. I started volunteering at a free clinic, serving as an interpreter and doing basic clinical tasks like taking blood pressure readings. Most of the patients I met were underserved; I loved learning about their lives and listening to their stories. The dedication and positive energy of the students and physicians who ran the clinic was infectious. I also admired the mutual respect and depth of the relationships between many of the patients and staff. My experiences there provided a stark contrast to the long hours I spent coding and sitting in front of a computer. Ultimately, I was inspired to shift course and pursue a career in medicine.
Specialties and clinical expertise
The branch of medicine a provider practices and their areas of focus
I am an associate program director of the Diagnostic Radiology Residency at the University of Washington School of Medicine. In this role, I help build and manage a program of more than 50 residents as they gain clinical expertise in the field of diagnostic imaging. My clinical practice includes all aspects of breast imaging, from mammography to diagnostic breast procedures, such as biopsies. At SCCA, I am honored to work with a multidisciplinary team of physicians and technologists who are sincerely invested in the compassionate care of our patients.
In addition to providing care, one of my main areas of interest is educating and supporting physicians-in-training. I am an associate program director of the diagnostic radiology residency at the UW School of Medicine. In this role, I oversee a team of more than 50 residents as they gain clinical expertise in the field of imaging.
What personal experiences have informed your approach to care?
When I was a medical resident, I found out that my mother had metastatic breast cancer. Going through that experience with her — multiple hospitalizations, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy — made me not only a better person but a better physician. I have so much empathy for what patients and families go through: the fear of what’s to come, the overwhelming need to understand so much new information, and the nagging feeling that no matter what you do, you just don’t know enough. As a breast imager, I have a unique opportunity to be present with patients and help guide them through a critical, vulnerable time. No matter how busy the clinic is, when I am in a room with you and your family, you have my undivided attention. My goal is to listen and to empower you to make informed decisions that fit with your individual values.