Research Summary

Rebecca Smith-Bindman, MD, is a Professor in Residence of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Smith–Bindman directs the Radiology Outcomes Research Laboratory. Dr. Smith-Bindman received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco in 1991, and completed her residency in Radiology at UCSF in 1996, followed by a fellowship in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF in 1998.

Dr. Smith-Bindman’s research concentrate on understanding the impact of diagnostic testing on important patient outcomes and understanding the difference in access to different tests and variance in accuracy of these tests. Present research projects are assessing the risk of cancer associated with incidental findings identified on ultrasound and CT imaging, and assessing patterns of radiation from diagnostic imaging. She also is actively developing approaches that can be used to improve the way radiology tests are used and performed to improve the safety of medical imaging

Dr. Smith-Bindman has 135 peer-reviewed articles. In most studies she was responsible for the design, data collection, analysis, manuscript preparation, and dissemination of the results. A few of her significant articles have been covered by extensive media coverage such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Clinical Expertise:

Professional Interests:
Comparative effectiveness and diagnostic imaging, health services research, outcomes research, disparities research, women's imaging, mammography, evidenced based radiology, screening tests, radiation associated with medical imaging, management of incidental findings on diagnostic testing

Education and Training:
• Medical School: University of California, San Francisco
• Internship: University of California, San Francisco - Pathology
• Residency: University of California, San Francisco - Radiology
• Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco - Epidemiology and Biostatistics
• California Medical License
• California X-ray Supervisor and Operator License
• Board Certification, American Board of Radiology

Research Funding

  • March 1, 2015 - May 31, 2021 - Risk of Pediatric and Adolescent Cancer Associated with Medical Imaging , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA185687
  • September 12, 2014 - December 31, 2020 - CT DOSE Collaboratory , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA181191
  • September 19, 2008 - June 30, 2015 - Risk of Cancer in Incidental Findings Identified on Ultrasound Imaging , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: K24CA125036
  • September 30, 2010 - September 29, 2013 - RCT of US versus CT for Patients in the ED with Suspected Renal Colic , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01HS019312


Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, B.S.E., 1985, Architecture/Engineering
Columbia University, New York, NY, 7/85-6/86, Pre-Medical Program
University of California, San Francisco, CA, M.D., 1991, Medicine

Honors & Awards

  • 1985
    Cum laude, Princeton University
  • 1985
    Senior Thesis Prize, Princeton University
  • 1988
    Student Summer Research Fellowship, Institute for Health Policy, UCSF
  • 1999, 2000
    Radiologic Society of North America Nycomed Amersham Fellow

Selected Publications

  1. Smith-Bindman R, Kang T, Chu PW, Wang Y, Stewart C, Das M, Duong PA, Cervantes L, Lamba R, Lee RK, MacLeod F, Kasraie N, Neill R, Pike P, Roehm J, Schindera S, Chung R, Delman BN, Jeukens CRLPN, Starkey LJ, Szczykutowicz TP. Large variation in radiation dose for routine abdomen CT: reasons for excess and easy tips for reduction. Eur Radiol. 2023 Sep 21.  View on PubMed
  2. Marlow EC, Ducore JM, Kwan ML, Bowles EJA, Greenlee RT, Pole JD, Rahm AK, Stout NK, Weinmann S, Smith-Bindman R, Miglioretti DL. Medical imaging utilization and associated radiation exposure in children with down syndrome. PLoS One. 2023; 18(9):e0289957.  View on PubMed
  3. Chu PW, Kofler C, Mahendra M, Wang Y, Chu CA, Stewart C, Delman BN, Haas B, Lee C, Bolch WE, Smith-Bindman R. Correction to: Dose length product to effective dose coefficients in children. Pediatr Radiol. 2023 Sep; 53(10):2165.  View on PubMed
  4. Wang Y, Chu P, Szczykutowicz TP, Stewart C, Smith-Bindman R. CT acquisition parameter selection in the real world: impacts on radiation dose and variation amongst 155 institutions. Eur Radiol. 2023 Aug 30.  View on PubMed
  5. Dhruva SS, Smith-Bindman R, Redberg RF. The Need for Randomized Clinical Trials Demonstrating Reduction in All-Cause Mortality With Blood Tests for Cancer Screening. JAMA Intern Med. 2023 Aug 28.  View on PubMed
  6. Mahendra M, Chu P, Amin EK, Nawaytou H, Duncan JR, Fineman JR, Smith-Bindman R. Associated radiation exposure from medical imaging and excess lifetime risk of developing cancer in pediatric patients with pulmonary hypertension. Pulm Circ. 2023 Jul; 13(3):e12282.  View on PubMed
  7. Gould MK, Creekmur B, Qi L, Golden SE, Kaplan CP, Walter E, Mularski RA, Vaszar LT, Fennig K, Steiner J, de Bie E, Musigdilok VV, Altman DA, Dyer DS, Kelly K, Miglioretti DL, Wiener RS, Slatore CG, Smith-Bindman R. Emotional Distress, Anxiety, and General Health Status in Patients With Small Pulmonary Nodules Shortly After Their Identification: Results From the Watch the Spot Trial. Chest. 2023 Jun 24.  View on PubMed
  8. Chu PW, Kofler C, Mahendra M, Wang Y, Chu CA, Stewart C, Delman BN, Haas B, Lee C, Bolch WE, Smith-Bindman R. Dose length product to effective dose coefficients in children. Pediatr Radiol. 2023 07; 53(8):1659-1668.  View on PubMed
  9. Smith-Bindman R, Nielsen ME, Wang RC. Unchanged Diagnostic Imaging for Urinary Stone Disease-Where Do We Go From Here? JAMA Intern Med. 2022 Dec 01; 182(12):1246-1247.  View on PubMed
  10. Farjah F, Monsell SE, Greenlee RT, Gould MK, Smith-Bindman R, Banegas MP, Schoen K, Ramaprasan A, Buist DSM. Patient and Nodule Characteristics Associated With a Lung Cancer Diagnosis Among Individuals With Incidentally Detected Lung Nodules. Chest. 2023 03; 163(3):719-730.  View on PubMed
  11. Farjah F, Monsell SE, Smith-Bindman R, Gould MK, Banegas MP, Ramaprasan A, Schoen K, Buist DSM, Greenlee R. Fleischner Society Guideline Recommendations for Incidentally Detected Pulmonary Nodules and the Probability of Lung Cancer. J Am Coll Radiol. 2022 11; 19(11):1226-1235.  View on PubMed
  12. Wang RC, Fahimi J, Dillon D, Shyy W, Mongan J, McCulloch C, Smith-Bindman R. Effect of an ultrasound-first clinical decision tool in emergency department patients with suspected nephrolithiasis: A randomized trial. Am J Emerg Med. 2022 10; 60:164-170.  View on PubMed
  13. Davenport MS, Chu P, Szczykutowicz TP, Smith-Bindman R. Comparison of Strategies to Conserve Iodinated Intravascular Contrast Media for Computed Tomography During a Shortage. JAMA. 2022 08 02; 328(5):476-478.  View on PubMed
  14. Whitebird RR, Solberg LI, Chu PW, Smith-Bindman R. Strategies for Dose Optimization: Views From Health Care Systems. J Am Coll Radiol. 2022 04; 19(4):534-541.  View on PubMed
  15. Woolen SA, Lazar AA, Smith-Bindman R. Association Between the Frequent Use of Perineal Talcum Powder Products and Ovarian Cancer: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. J Gen Intern Med. 2022 08; 37(10):2526-2532.  View on PubMed
  16. Patel MD, Levine D, Smith-Bindman R. Poor Evidence That Endometrial Thickness Underperforms in Detecting Endometrial Cancer in Black Women. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2022 03; 218(3):563.  View on PubMed
  17. Kwan ML, Miglioretti DL, Bowles EJA, Weinmann S, Greenlee RT, Stout NK, Rahm AK, Alber SA, Pequeno P, Moy LM, Stewart C, Fong C, Jenkins CL, Kohnhorst D, Luce C, Mor JM, Munneke JR, Prado Y, Buth G, Cheng SY, Deosaransingh KA, Francisco M, Lakoma M, Martinez YT, Theis MK, Marlow EC, Kushi LH, Duncan JR, Bolch WE, Pole JD, Smith-Bindman R. Quantifying cancer risk from exposures to medical imaging in the Risk of Pediatric and Adolescent Cancer Associated with Medical Imaging (RIC) Study: research methods and cohort profile. Cancer Causes Control. 2022 May; 33(5):711-726.  View on PubMed
  18. Chu PW, Yu S, Wang Y, Seibert JA, Cervantes LF, Kasraie N, Chu CA, Smith-Bindman R. Reference phantom selection in pediatric computed tomography using data from a large, multicenter registry. Pediatr Radiol. 2022 Mar; 52(3):445-452.  View on PubMed
  19. Weinmann S, Francisco MC, Kwan ML, Bowles EJA, Rahm AK, Greenlee RT, Stout NK, Pole JD, Kushi LH, Smith-Bindman R, Miglioretti DL. Positive predictive value and sensitivity of ICD-9-CM codes for identifying pediatric leukemia. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2022 02; 69(2):e29383.  View on PubMed
  20. Smith-Bindman R, Yu S, Wang Y, Kohli MD, Chu P, Chung R, Luong J, Bos D, Stewart C, Bista B, Alejandrez Cisneros A, Delman B, Einstein AJ, Flynn M, Romano P, Seibert JA, Westphalen AC, Bindman A. An Image Quality-informed Framework for CT Characterization. Radiology. 2022 02; 302(2):380-389.  View on PubMed

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