Contributing to advancing interventional radiology on a global level
The advancement and widespread integration of diagnostic imaging has revolutionized the practice of medicine, allowing radiologists to interpret and communicate key diagnostic information critical for clinical decision making. Technology drives innovation, and Canadian radiologists are uniquely situated at the forefront of this technologically-based specialty with the skills and knowledge to provide diagnostic expertise. The same situation is not a reality for many countries globally. Whether it be related to social, political or resource factors, developing countries face significant barriers to implementing diagnostic radiology services and training diagnostic radiologists. Consequently, over half of the world lacks access to diagnostic radiology services, thereby impacting the ability to accurately diagnose and treat countless diseases. The awareness of such disparities may raise the question, “How can I help?”
Global outreach in diagnostic radiology is built on the foundational principles of promoting health equity, building capacity, forming local partnerships, and developing sustainable, long-term programs. Radiologists contribute to global outreach by providing teaching and mentorship, assistance with program development, and research, among other possibilities. These outreach activities can be conducted in person or by distance, with varying degrees of time commitment. Given the flexibility of roles and the breadth of opportunities, there are ways for all radiologists to contribute to global outreach in radiology.
RAD-AID is a non-profit organization that began in 2008 through Johns Hopkins to bring radiology to underserved and low-resource areas by delivering education, infrastructure, equipment, and support. The organization has grown to implement programs in over 30 developing countries, with approximately 10,000 volunteers composed of radiologists, technologists and nursing staff. Visit the RAD-AID website to sign-up for the newsletter and to register as a volunteer.
Website: Rad-aid.org | Email: Info@rad-aid.org
The Tanzania Interventional Radiology Initiative, now termed Road2IR, was born from the country’s urgent need for minimally invasive procedures offered by interventional radiology. Tanzania’s first cohort of IR fellows is trained by visiting international IR staff and is set to complete training in 2021. What began as a training partnership between Yale University, Emory University and the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in Tanzania has now grown to include faculty and staff from around the world, including Canada. Visit the Road2IR website for more information or to register as a volunteer.
Website: Road2IR.org | Twitter: @Road2IR | Instagram: @Road2IR | Facebook: Road to IR
The mission of the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) is to improve lives through image-guided therapy. Its “International Visiting Professor Program,” is designed to support IR educators to travel and participate in educational visits to developing countries or lower-middle income regions, to engage, teach, interact with and learn from interventional radiologists outside of the United States.
Website: sirweb.org | Twitter: @SIRSpecialists| Instagram: @sirspecialists | Facebook: Society of Interventional Radiology
“Although I had given a passing thought to global outreach for several years, it was only last year that I took the leap and signed on with the road2ir program. Along with a nurse and tech, we were the first Canadian team to fly to Dar es Salaam where we spent an amazing two weeks working and teaching. My involvement with the road2IR team in Tanzania has given me renewed energy and enthusiasm, and as a result, I remain involved. There is a very robust distance learning program, such that I am able to provide consultation/guidance on cases, give lectures, lead journal clubs and participate in the various research projects. I can honestly tell you that working in global outreach has been one of the most exciting and rewarding things I have done. I highly encourage you to see what role you can play.” – Dr. Murray Asch
“Sharing your IR knowledge and skills can greatly benefit patients and help train radiologists around the world. It’s easier than ever to get involved on- site or virtually. The highlight of my experience with road2IR was working with and learning from the motivated local team of IR fellows, residents, nurses, and techs in Tanzania.” – Dr. Aline D. Khatchikian
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