In Memoriam Susann Schetter

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This issue of JAOCR is dedicated to the memory of Susann Schetter, D.O., who died December 24, 2018 after courageously battling pancreatic cancer. A native of New Jersey, Susann graduated from Villanova University in 1976 and pursued graduate studies in microbiology and biochemistry at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. In 1982, she received her doctorate of osteopathic medicine from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, followed by internship and radiology residency in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and a fellowship in pediatric radiology at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. After serving two years in the Indian Health Service in Anchorage, Alaska, she undertook positions as a radiologist in Lancaster and subsequently Philadelphia, where she became section chief of mammography and medical director of the Women’s Imaging Center at Pennsylvania Hospital. Ultimately, Dr. Schetter was hired by Penn State Hershey Medical Center as division chief of breast imaging and co-director of the Penn State Hershey Breast Center. While there, she served as associate chief medical officer for the Penn State Health Medical Group, and medical director of the Penn State Health Breast Center.

While she made numerous contributions to patient care that will be remembered, one of her most successful ventures was the development of a fully integrated breast center on the Penn State Hershey campus. Together with her surgical colleague, she designed and implemented a breast care center where surgeons and radiologists work side-by-side, sharing hallways as they care for mutual patients. Through specific design, the patients move seamlessly between the imaging and core-biopsy rooms to their surgical appointments, allowing surgeons, radiologists, and other clinicians to fully coordinate care. This integrated concept not only streamlined patient management, it also fostered true collegiality amongst the breast center care providers.

As a breast imager, Dr. Schetter’s wealth of knowledge constantly amazed me, and her intuition was uncanny. From common presentations to the most obscure diagnoses, she always had the needed differentials on hand. While she excelled as a diagnostician, her compassion, empathy, and grace rivaled her intellect. She had the most calming demeanor and could deliver the worst news with the utmost compassion. She was the epitome of professionalism. I never heard her speak one ill word about anyone, whether a patient, colleague, or trainee.

I was a third-year radiology resident in 2013 when Dr. Schetter gave me a chance to work with her on a paper for the JAOCR. I considered it an honor and immediately agreed. As guest editor for the January 2014 issue, Dr. Schetter organized an eloquent list of breast topics, from screening to uncommon breast cases. Six years later when I heard of an opportunity to serve as JAOCR guest editor, I thought of the strong, charismatic, and humble mentor who taught me more about breast imaging, leadership, and life than she would ever know. She was not only my attending and fellowship director, but my role model and friend.

It is rare to encounter a person capable of creating within you a fervency, passion, and confidence you never knew existed. One might never have the chance to meet and learn from such an individual over the course of an entire lifetime. I am so thankful that I had such an opportunity to learn from Dr. Schetter and dedicate this issue to her memory.

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Woodard SA.  In Memoriam Susann Schetter.  J Am Osteopath Coll Radiol.  2021;10(1):5.

By Stefanie A. Woodard, DO| January 27, 2021
Categories:  Section

About the Author

Stefanie A. Woodard, DO

Stefanie A. Woodard, DO

Assistant Professor, Breast Imaging  Department of Radiology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL


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