Associate Professor of Clinical Radiology
Department of Radiology and Radiological Science
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Pursuing excellence in patient care and in teaching, Dr. Andrea Birch currently serves as Professor of Clinical Radiology, Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences (RRS), Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). She is also Director of Diagnostic Radiology RAD:5610, a 4-week elective for visiting medical students. She is highly regarded for her outstanding clinical expertise in Breast Imaging, her competency at passing on this knowledge as an instructor and mentor, her knack for establishing positive relationships with her patients, and her work to increase the number of under-represented minorities and women in the field of Radiology.
Dr. Birch is an able and experienced instructor, having also served as Associate Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, at University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center (UT). Under her tutelage, trainees learn to evaluate image quality, consider relevant data, perform minimally invasive breast procedures, establish positive doctor-patient relationships, identify pertinent findings, generate differential diagnoses, utilize the breast lexicon and apply appropriate algorithms -- all leading to evidenced based interpretations and recommendations that help achieve optimal outcomes.
She also challenges her trainees to cultivate a desire for lifelong learning and personal career development.
Consistent with her longstanding commitment to increase URM and female representation in radiology, she is Co-Director of the RRS Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Her leadership contributed to the increase in enrollment of URM and women in the RRS’s Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology programs from 8% to 20%, twice the national average. She is responsible for the annual VUMC Radiology Diversity Lectureship, featuring nationally recognized speakers. Dr. Birch also educates medical and college students about radiology, provides them “shadowing” experiences, reviews their personal statements for residency and medical school applications and is founder and faculty advisor of VUMC’s RAD-AID Chapter. She is active with the American College of Radiology (ACR) as a preceptor in the Nth Dimensions pipeline program and on the steering committee of the Pipeline Initiative for the Enrichment of Radiology (PIER) for which she created the curriculum and a presentation introducing radiology for medical students shown at ACR workshops across the country.
Dr. Birch’s experience as a clinician is also noteworthy. Before coming to Vanderbilt, she was a partner in Radiology Alliance, Tennessee's largest private full range imaging and radiology practice group. While there, she evaluated thousands of patients, providing them education and empathic care, and thereby empowering them to become active participants in their healthcare. She often shared the benefits of and debunked myths about mammography at local health fairs and with women’s and church groups, motivating many women to be screened,
Dr. Birch has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Vanderbilt Breast Center Award of Excellence, RRS Senior Resident Attending of the Year and Spelman College Health Careers Distinguished Alumna. She is a member of many professional organizations including the ACR (Committee on Women and Diversity; Independent PIER Internship Oversite Task Force), the Society of Breast Imaging and the Tennessee Radiological Society (Women and Diversity Ad Hoc Committee Chair and Alternate Councilor). She also serves on the Board of Directors of Susan G. Komen Central Tennessee and is chair of its Grants Committee.
Dr. Birch graduated from Spelman College and Meharry Medical College and is licensed to practice medicine in Tennessee. She completed her internship and residency at St. Francis Medical Center. (now University. of Pittsburgh) and completed an Ultrasonography fellowship at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. She is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and in Diagnostic Radiology by the American Board of Radiology.