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Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Alison Chetlen has published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts related to breast cancer screening, breast magnetic resonance imaging, management and recruitment of women at high risk for developing breast cancer, anticoagulation and breast biopsy, online social networking, simulation in radiology, virtual journal club, peer learning and peer coaching, and development of a breast health chatbot.

She is involved as a co-investigator in numerous ACRIN trials. She lectures to the community on risk assessment and screening for breast cancer and speaks locally and regionally on topics such as new breast imaging technologies.


Clinical interests

Dr. Alison Chetlen is a fellowship-trained breast imager and clinician educator with expertise in screening mammography, screening automated whole breast ultrasound (ABUS), diagnostic mammography, diagnostic ultrasound, 3D tomosynthesis and screening and diagnostic MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

She has expertise in imaging of the post-mastectomy breast, post-surgical breast and surgically augmented breast. She also evaluates transgender patients with breast pathology and men with both benign and malignant breast pathology.

She performs a variety of breast procedures, including ultrasound-guided core needle breast biopsies, stereotactic core needle breast biopsies, MRI-guided breast biopsies, drainage procedures and needle/wire localizations.

Dr. Chetlen also created and launched a breast imaging chatbot in which patients and community members can use their mobile device to learn about a variety of breast health topics including breast cancer screening, pre-procedural breast biopsy concerns, post-procedural concerns, diagnostic imaging questions, high risk and breast cancer management.

Teaching and educational interests

In addition to her role as vice chair of education in the Department of Radiology, Dr. Chetlen participates in a number of endeavors that align with her interests in faculty affairs, mentorship, medical student education, graduate medical education, leadership and research.

She is the director of medical student education for the Department of Radiology, where she oversees the Radiology 771 elective, Radiology 772 elective and two Career Exploration electives and directs the 771 longitudinally integrated elective (for the 3+ accelerated medical students).

She has also been involved in a first-year medical school course, Science of Health Systems SHS 711, which discuses the socio-economic determinants of health and relationship to health outcomes, health policy and reimbursement.

She has had several formal long-term mentoring relationships with numerous medical students, residents, breast imaging fellows and undergraduate students through Penn State's summer undergraduate research program, and several informal mentoring relationships with faculty members.


Professional information

Fellow, Society of Breast Imaging, 2018

Board-certified in Diagnostic Radiology, PA Breast Cancer Coalition, 2017

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Member, Commission on Economics, American College of Radiology


Director, Medical Student Education Job Description Task Force, Association of Medical Student Educators, Association of University Radiologists

2019 → …

Task Force Member - "Dealing with Disruptive Workplace Behavior in Radiology: Disruptive Radiology Practitioners", Radiology Research Alliance


Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Society of Breast Imaging

2019 → …

Member, Standard Letter of Recommendation Task Force, Association of Medical Student Educators, Association of University Radiologists

2018 → …

Task Force Member - "Peer Learning and Peer Coaching", Radiology Research Alliance



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