One Site, Three Practices: The New UCSF Imaging Center at Montgomery Street

The UCSF Imaging Center at Montgomery Street is a one-of-a-kind location. The newly opened facility boasts advanced radiological and imaging services and technologies, but perhaps what makes it most unique is that it is part of an integrated health center with three practices on the same floor.

Of the Montgomery Street set up, UCSF radiologist and Assistant Professor Dr. Cindy Lee commented, “The setting represents the next generation of health care. Here, I can collaborate with other doctors in different specialties just by walking across the hall.”

The comprehensive health services offered at one single location -- in San Francisco’s North Waterfront area -- ensures consistent communication and rapid problem-solving throughout the site. The facility is not just efficient. With doctors from different specialties collaborating on a regular basis, they are able to make decisions leading to the most positive outcomes – right alongside the patient.

“Quick and creative problem-solving is exciting to me as a new member of the team,” said Dr. Lee. “The value lies in empowering our patients— they are involved in decisions, and these can happen in real time. With many minds working together, we can come to the best conclusions as soon as possible.”

Dr. Lee and the other physicians are already seeing the benefits of such a facility.

“There was a patient who had become anxious about her test results after meeting with her doctor across the hall,” remembered Dr. Lee. “She had to make some important health care decisions depending on what the next test (ultrasound) would show. Knowing how anxious she felt, we were able to accommodate her in the ultrasound clinic that same morning. After the ultrasound exam, I was able to review the results with her referring doctor, and both of us met with the patient as a team— right then and there.”

The time it would have taken her to gather all the necessary information before making an informed decision was reduced substantially. “Without the convenience of the Montgomery Street office, this process could have taken many weeks,” explained Dr. Lee.  “Instead, we were able to ease the patient’s concerns and work together to make a plan for her immediately.”

For Dr. Lee, being a radiologist at Montgomery Street is something she’s been working towards since she was a teenager. When her grandfather, by whom she was raised, was diagnosed with colon cancer, she felt powerless. At the time, virtual (a radiological) colonoscopy or PET-CT scan was not available, but Dr. Lee knew he needed a non-invasive test before the surgery. Researching options for her grandfather helped Dr. Lee discover radiology, and she knew that imaging would be her calling.

Dr. Lee was attracted to breast imaging and ultrasound, two specialties offered at Montgomery Street, because she treasures the opportunity to interact with her patients. She finds that having access to patients – to educate, support, and see their improvement -- is one of the most rewarding parts of being a radiologist. Dr. Lee chooses to keep open communication with her patients, because it is important to them, even though it sometimes slows the workflow.

On her relationship with patients at Montgomery Street, Dr. Lee says it best: “I feel compelled to talk to patients and they love it, especially at Montgomery Street. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful and grateful patients!”

Related Content