October 19, 2017
- Residency - Baylor University Medical Center (1973-1976), Diagnostic Radiology
- Internship - Baylor University Medical Center (1972-1973), Medicine
- Medical School - UT Southwestern Medical Center (1968-1972)
Chief, Breast Imaging
W. Phil Evans, M.D., FACR, is a Clinical Professor of Radiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and Chief of its Breast Imaging Division. He also serves as the Director of UT Southwestern's Center for Breast Care.
After receiving his bachelor's degree at Trinity University in San Antonio, Dr. Evans earned his medical degree at UT Southwestern. He completed both his internship in internal medicine and residency training in diagnostic radiology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
He joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2002.
Among his numerous honors, awards, and recognitions, Dr. Evans has been named a Best Doctor in America every year since 2009. He has been given a Lifetime Service Award by the American Board of Radiology, is an Honorary Life Member of the American Cancer Society, and has been listed among the “Dallas Dozen” by D Magazine.
Highly active in the American Cancer Society on the national, state, and regional levels, Dr. Evans served as the organization’s national President from 2011-2012. In recognition of his dedication to caring for women with breast cancer, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Breast Cancer Foundation in 2019.
Dr. Evans is the principal investigator for the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) at UT Southwestern. His leadership in multi-institutional studies paved the way for the national evolution of breast imaging from film to digital mammography, and has improved breast cancer screening for high-risk patients by combining mammography with ultrasound. Dr. Evans’ pioneering approach to breast imaging led directly to the development of the first dedicated breast center in Texas, the Susan G. Komen Breast Center at Baylor University Medical Center, where he served as Medical Director and Director of Breast Imaging from 1984 to 2002.
Dr. Evans participates in varied administrative, mentoring, and educational activities at UT Southwestern. He has been deeply involved in leadership and advisory roles on behalf of professional organizations including the American College of Radiology, the Texas Radiological Society of North America, and the Society of Breast Imaging. He served as President of the Society of Breast Imaging from 2009-2011, and received the Society's highest honor, the Gold Medal Award in 2015.
Dr. Evans has also authored or co-authored numerous original research articles on breast imaging and breast cancer screening, MR imaging of the breast, and imaging-guided biopsy techniques. He has lectured extensively on these topics at professional symposia, meetings, and conferences.
Most people think of a radiologist as a doctor who simply looks at images and doesn’t have any patient contact. That’s not how breast cancer specialist W. Phil Evans, M.D., works.
Dr. Evans, a UT Southwestern Medical Center diagnostic radiologist who directs the Center for Breast Care, says getting to know his patients is an important part of their treatment.
Gregarious by nature, Dr. Evans was originally interested in internal medicine before a medical school mentor suggested that he try radiology.
“When I was doing my training, radiologists didn’t have many opportunities to talk with patients,” he recalls. “But breast imaging was a new field, and I thought it offered an opportunity to go a different way: to talk with patients about their test results immediately after the procedure in a way that they could understand.”
So, rather than follow the typical diagnostic radiology practice, Dr. Evans led the development of an entirely new subspecialty: patient-centered breast imaging. His vision drove the creation in 1984 of the first dedicated breast center in Texas, the Susan G. Komen Breast Center at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
Today, the distinctive combination of sophisticated screening techniques and close patient communication that Dr. Evans pioneered is standard operating procedure at UT Southwestern’s Center for Breast Care.
“Many of our patients first come to us with no symptoms or problems,” Dr. Evans says. “So if we do find breast cancer, we can intervene early – increasing the patient’s chances to be cured completely and to live a normal life.”
Dealing with breast cancer is a team effort, Dr. Evans notes.
“We have outstanding surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic surgeons, pathologists, geneticists, and other specialists, as well as great support staff members – all of the people who are essential to the care of the breast cancer patient.”
Though he enjoys the scientific and technical challenges of his specialty, his one-on-one relationship with his patients is the most gratifying thing about his work, Dr. Evans says.
“When I meet new patients, I am always honored and humbled that they have chosen to see me, and I listen very carefully to their concerns so that I can understand their specific needs.”
Dr. Evans’s naturally empathetic approach to his clinical practice was deepened further when, nearly 20 years ago, he himself was diagnosed with kidney cancer, which was successfully treated with surgery.
“I talk frequently with patients about their imaging results, and as a cancer survivor, I know what it’s like to be told you have cancer. That experience only strengthened my dedication to eliminating cancer from everyone’s lives,” he says.
Toward that end, Dr. Evans participates in numerous research studies designed to identify the most effective ways to diagnose breast cancer at increasingly earlier stages, which could in turn suggest new treatment strategies. He emphasizes, however, that the impact of breast imaging on patients’ lives is already abundantly clear.
“The good news is that, since 1990, breast cancer mortality in the U.S. has decreased by close to 35 percent due to improvements in mammographic screening and treatment,” Dr. Evans says. “It’s one of the biggest success stories in medicine.”
October 28, 2015