Simcha: Dr. Michael Linver’s Retirement
On June 4, a retirement party was held for Dr. Michael Linver. Colleagues, former and current patients, family members, and many, many friends came to wish him well as Dr. Linver stepped down as co-director of mammography for X-Ray Associates of New Mexico.
Dr. Linver is a very busy speaker, having presented over 1,200 lectures across the United States and in Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Argentina, India, Korea, Israel, Ireland, South Africa, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and many other countries around the world on breast imaging. He is the author of over 60 published articles and chapters of textbooks on mammography, and is a strong political proponent of quality mammography.
The following excerpts come from Dr. Linver’s remarks:
We each make choices in life that have far-reaching consequences. My choice- moving to Albuquerque in 1971 to serve in the U.S. Public Health Service- was such a choice. As they say in Yiddish, it was bashert – it was meant to be. That choice has led me on a great adventure, fulfilling a role I never could have imagined 46 years ago. …
In 1987, I attended the first course in the United States given by Dr. Laszlo Tabar, who had just published the landmark study from Sweden showing a huge breast cancer mortality reduction through the use of screening mammography. After five minutes of his first lecture, I had an epiphany: This is what I wanted to do the rest of my professional life. It was again the right choice: Dr. Tabar has gone on to become the preeminent leader and teacher of mammography throughout the world, and my own teacher and mentor, as he is to this day.
I took all of his teachings back to ABQ, and received overwhelming support from the leadership of X-Ray Associates to pursue the development of a full-fledged mammography program using Dr. Tabar’s precepts. With the further support of Stuart Paster, Mike Holzer, Jim Lowry, Keith Winterkorn, Roy Cronk, and the late Steve Babel, we were able to develop the leading breast imaging center in New Mexico, and one of the best in the country. I also collaborated with my friend and colleague Rob Rosenberg at UNM on numerous projects that received national attention.
Along the way, I became involved in the politics of breast cancer, and began speaking out for women and their right to access affordable high-quality screening mammography. With the help of many of you here, I was able to successfully campaign to enact mandated quality mammography screening legislation here in New Mexico in 1990. I then helped the FDA to write the final rules of the Mammography Quality Standards Act, and became increasingly engaged as a speaker, a teacher, and a passionate patient advocate through the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and the Society of Breast Imaging.
With the combined support of my colleagues, I have been able to not only develop a world-class breast imaging center here in Albuquerque, but to follow my passion to advocate and teach, having done so now in 37 states in the US and over 20 countries throughout the world. Who could have imagined this thirty years ago?