Meet the Radiologist: Specializing in Abdominal Radiology with Dr. Vincent Mellnick

Vincent Mellnick, MD, sits at a desk while dictating and reading imaging scans.

Vincent M. Mellnick, MD, is a professor of radiology for Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and chief of the abdominal imaging section.

In our Meet the Radiologist series, we get to know the clinicians providing their imaging expertise and often serving as the foundation of treatment planning across all specialties. Mellnick shares his passion for abdominal imaging and how he and his colleagues work to improve care for patients.

Why did you choose radiology as your specialty?
My favorite part of medicine is solving a problem for other doctors by interpreting images and incorporating clinical data.  This is how radiologists can very much alter the course of a patient’s care.

Headshot of Vincent Mellnick, MD.

What’s your favorite aspect of specializing in abdominal imaging?
Abdominal imaging is great because it has a wide array of modalities and services but still offers the satisfaction of being a subspecialist. With the variety of organs and diseases in our specialty, it really keeps us on our toes. 

What’s an exciting clinical development in your field?
Recently, one of our fellows Hunter Lanier, MD, PhD (who is joining us on faculty), worked on a project with Daniel Ludwig, MD, and me on the value of water-soluble contrast challenge in patients with non-adhesive small bowel obstruction. That’s an exam that we have streamlined recently, and it was nice to see the clinical impact of our efforts result in a publication. 

What do you think differentiates MIR from other radiology providers?
The level of case complexity in our practice tends to be quite high.  The experience of encountering those patients routinely, in addition to multidisciplinary conferences and our subspecialty approach, strengthens the work that we do.