Partner: Stephanie Mason, Children: Lydia, 19, Lawrence, 16, Jazlyn, 1
Hobbies: Photography, sporting events (UL Cardinal fan and Titans fan) and travel.
Education: Washington University, 1997, BS Electrical Engineering; University of Tennessee College of Medicine, 2001, MD; Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2007, Diagnostic Radiology and Women’s Imaging Fellowship
The last Good Book Read: Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life by Shakti Gawain (New World Library, September 24, 2010)
Favorite Vacation spot: Montreal, Canada
Favorite Daytime Beverage: Coffee, black
Medical News: Why did you become a doctor?
Lawrence Mason, Jr., MD: I became a doctor due to a combination of positive childhood exposure to pediatricians (I had recurrent tonsillitis/ pharyngitis as a child) and an inquisitive nature regarding health sciences, as my favorite TV character was Mr. Goodbody and I enjoyed nature and the game ‘Operation’.
MN: Why did you choose this particular specialty?
LM: I chose radiology because I excelled at the physical sciences (college tutor in physics and math, and electrical engineering major) and it is an aspect of medicine with a physical science foundation. I also have family members who are high risk for acquiring breast cancer and that encouraged me to go into women’s imaging.
MN: Tell me about the impact of breast MRI.
LM: Breast MRI employs the use of nonionizing (nonharmful) radiation to image the breast for enhancing lesions that may represent breast cancer. Very rarely will it not show an abnormality when breast cancer is present. However, a mixture of normal and abnormal findings usually show enhancement. The key in detecting a breast cancer on a breast MRI is being a skilled enough radiologist to tell the difference between normal tissue or a benign mass and breast cancer.
MN: What is the Real Men Wear Pink initiative and why did you get involved?
LM: Real Men Wear Pink is an American Cancer Society initiative that invites the support of men in raising the awareness of breast cancer through fundraising. I got involved to help inform the community about the effectiveness of breast MRI as a problem-solving tool and its importance in the detection of breast cancer.
MN: What’s one thing your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?
LM: I think there is a relationship between being a good breast imager and being good with probability and statistics.
MN: What’s the best advice you ever received? Who gave it to you?
LM: My father passed on an axiom of truth from my great grandfather years ago that has stuck like glue – “All you do, do with your might. Things half done are never done right.”
MN: What is your motto? Why?
LM: My motto is “See your future. Be your vision.” This helps create a forward-looking mindset and energize your efforts as well as provide direction.
MN: Who are your heroes in healthcare?
LM: My heroes include Arthur Fleischer, MD and Ellen Mendelsohn, MD. These are my mentors in radiology who have helped train me.
MN: How do you go the extra mile, above and beyond your daily tasks to improve patient care, community health or hospital operations?
LM: By sharing information openly but with discretion with my patients to both inform them of pertinent imaging findings that require attention but also insulate them from unnecessary and unhealthy worry.