Imaging Center of UWS Welcomes Dr. Melinda Novak, Head Sonographer

The Imaging Center of UWS provides state-of-the-art digital imaging to patients and chiropractic physicians alike, offering expert interpretation by board certified chiropractic radiologists.

Services provided include consultation services on studies taken at another facility for second opinions, on-site bone density screening, musculoskeletal (MSK) diagnostic ultrasound (on-site and portable capabilities) and digital plain film imaging at the Imaging Center of UWS and Siker Medical Imaging (West side location.)

MSK ultrasound, one of the university’s most innovative imaging service, uses sound waves to create images of painful or injured areas in the body. This technique provides high resolution images of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The ability to perform dynamic exams makes ultrasound an ideal alternative to MRI and is an effective technique to help improve the care of patients with a variety of musculoskeletal issues. Ultrasound is a safe, accurate, affordable and efficient and no patient preparation is needed for the procedure.

Interested in learning more about the imaging staff at the Health Centers of UWS? Check out this profile on Melinda Novak, DC, chiropractic musculoskeletal sonographer for Health Centers of UWS.


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Dr. Melinda Novak’s journey to becoming the lead chiropractic musculoskeletal sonographer at the Imaging Center of UWS has been a winding path with a start in classical music, a career as a CNA (certified nursing assistant), a manager at a bookstore and finally a fortuitous decision to become a doctor of chiropractic at University of Western States.

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Novak attended a small private performing arts high school in Michigan with hopes of becoming a classical musician.

After two years of undergraduate study in Chicago on a musical track, Dr. Novak decided she wanted a change and became a CNA at a local hospital. Though her passion for the medical field was sparked through this experience, she continued onto other pursuits by working her way up, over a 10-year-span, to store operations manager at the former Borders Group, Inc., bookstore chain.

In 2011, Dr. Novak picked up her Midwestern roots and relocated to Portland to go back to school at UWS in the DC program.

Through the beginning of her studies, Dr. Novak was introduced to the imaging world – an eye-opening and career-defining milestone.

“During the course of going through the chiropractic courses at UWS, I learned about the radiology residency for the diagnostic imaging program,” Dr. Novak said. “I decided that was something I really wanted to do, because it fascinated me to no end.”

After completing her DC coursework, Dr. Novak completed an additional three-plus years of training specifically in radiology. In July of 2017, Dr. Novak was one of six to be awarded the status of Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology (DACBR).

Dr. Novak specializes in MSK ultrasound, which is an imaging modality that uses sound waves to create images of painful or injured areas in the body. This technique provides high resolution images of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The ability to perform dynamic exams makes ultrasound an ideal alternative to MRI and is an effective modality in helping to improve the care of patients with a variety of musculoskeletal issues.

“Melinda had a passion for chiropractic radiology very early on in her education. Witnessing her knowledge in imaging and professional growth over the years has been very rewarding,” Dr. Beverly Harger, radiology program director said. “She’s extremely dedicated and demonstrates as much passion for the topic as one can. She has a high level of expertise and that showed very early on. Melinda is committed to being the best that she can be and is always working to further her skill set in all aspects if diagnostic imaging not just in sonography… To have that depth and breadth of knowledge in imaging is a great resource for UWS both in education of the future in the field, but also in serving the patients that referred to the Imaging Center of UWS.”

Though the parallels in classical music and health care professions seem far and few between, Novak credits her musical background to her discipline and work ethic for getting her to where she is today.

“As a musician, there is always something new to learn and there is always a new piece of music to practice,” she explained. “It’s the same in chiropractic, but specifically in radiology for me. There is never a point at which you’re done. You never have that moment of, ‘I’ve learned everything I need to learn. It’s time to put the books away.’ There is always something new and fascinating to take on,” said Dr. Novak. “I think part of what has gotten me this far and to a point where I’ve really been able to rise through the ranks, is that I just don’t like to sit still. I’m constantly trying to educate myself, learn new things and figure out how I can be better and in turn serve my patients better. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Learn more about the Imaging Center of UWS and to make an appointment through referral, call 503-255-6771