Trains local doctors in developing nations in radiology to save lives.
We all have directly or indirectly experienced the impact of Covid-19. For the Radiology Across Borders team, it has reiterated how important it is to help provide access to quality health care for everyone, wherever they live. Travel restrictions have meant that we had to put on hold all on site programs. At the same time, our commitment stayed strong and we shifted our focus towards supporting clinicians through existing and new online programs.
We piloted a 1-1 mentorship program, which is showcased in this newsletter. The initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we are looking into adding this program to our permanent projects from 2021 to allow a greater number of clinicians to connect. We also greatly progressed with the International Certificate in Radiology Fundamentals Program and are aiming to have our first students starting early next year. Have a peek into the incredible results this global collaboration has been able to achieve to date. Collaboration is at the heart of our work and we are delighted to announce our new imaging pathways partnership, as well as the extension of the TIDES program to new volunteer radiologists providing support to radiologists in the Cook Islands, Fiji and Samoa on a regular basis.
I encourage you to get involved in our online programs, stay connected online and as always, we’d love to hear your feedback on how we can improve and further our mission to provide education in radiology wherever it is needed.
Dr Suresh de Silva
Sonographer and Radiographer Mentorship Pilot Program
After matching pairs of mentors and mentees based on skill sets and availability, twenty pairs successfully went through the 2-month program with many still continuing on. During this time, friendships were made, knowledge and new techniques were learnt and discussed among colleagues and day to day struggles and burdens of practising radiology in a developing nation were shared.
Thank you to all our mentors from Australia, NZ, USA and the UK who provided their time and expertise to support our colleagues overseas and also to the ones who are on our waiting list and willing to mentor again.
Thank you to the mentees who participated from Africa, Myanmar, PNG, Fiji, Samoa, the Cook and Solomon Islands.
We are currenlty evaluating the program and aim to make it available to further applicants in February 2021. We hope you enjoy reading the testimonials from two of our pairs matched.
A virtual mentorship between Perth & Fiji
“I have to say I have immensely enjoyed our weekly interaction.
Because I am both a sonographer and a radiographer I have been able to source support material for both fields and in our weekly chats we are able to discuss all things MI and ultrasound. It has been fulfilling to be able to help and I know some of the information has been shared with other departments in Fiji.
I think it would be fair to say we have become friends. Sometimes an hour is not long enough as we merge to countrywide and local news and stories and learn about each other’s cultures.
I think Akesa is doing an amazing job in challenging circumstances and who knows, circumstances allowing I would love to detour to see her on one of my trips back to NZ.”
- Vicki Hooper, Merredin Medical Imaging Department, WA
“I love this initiative about mentorship as it's really helped me a lot with work.
Knowing that I am not alone in the day-to-day struggles and that someone who is also in our field goes through it too.
I haven't been to any workshops or get-togethers for ultrasound or x-ray since last year and just from this mentorship program, I have gained a lot of resources from Vicki which has helped me a lot in my day-to-day cases and also just something I can learn from.
This mentorship has really pushed me to further my studies abroad because right now, Fiji does not have any qualified sonographers or even a program in place to study ultrasound. We are all just practising it through textbooks, internet researches, journals and small knowledge passed on from colleagues.
I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is also like me, a lone radiographer on an island or a place that is far from the big hospitals.”
- Akesa, Taveuni Island, Fiji
London - Nigeria
“I have always wanted to get involved with RAB since I have long admired the work that they do, and also since starting as a new consultant have developed an interest in teaching. So when the mentorship program was developed I saw this as a perfect opportunity to combine the two. It has been an interesting and rewarding experience, to hear first hand what radiology training consists of in Nigeria, to see my mentee progress to a radiology residency post, and be able to teach subjects of interest to my mentee. It has been a great opportunity to connect with other radiology doctors abroad, and to use some of the expertise I have learned to help others.”
- Dr Melissa Hickson, London
“Practising as a Medical Officer at the Primary Health centre in a relatively remote area, with limited knowledge of the use of radiologic images to aid diagnosis, and the paucity of qualified Radiologists to interpret images properly, made me not satisfied with the quality of care I was dispensing. Joining the mentorship program equipped me with the basic understanding of radiologic imaging and its application to my practice. I have become more efficient in recognizing some life-threatening conditions apparent on radiologic images, and this has put me in a position to make informed and timely decisions in favour of my patients. Presently, it goes without saying that I have great interest in the field of Radiology.”
Kelechi Adioha, Nigeria
International Certificate in Radiology Fundamentals Update
In partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC) we are working towards launching the International Certificate in Radiology Fundamentals (ICRF), with the first group of students planned to commence in January 2021. This is a true collaboration between our two organisations, with invaluable support from E-integrity and Radiopaedia.
This unique degree, completed online in one year will provide teaching in core radiology in all the key radiological disciplines. Formal assessment and accreditation will be provided through UBC. In addition to didactic teachings, there will be online video tutorials in association with clinical sessions, making this both clinical and practical. From our understanding, it is the first of its kind for developing nations globally and with the quality of the program that has been put together, we would imagine that it will provide an opportunity for those in developed nations as well who are keen to undertake teaching in core radiology.
As always, RAB and UBC will endeavour to make this available to all in developing nations as we firmly believe that quality education should be made available to all regardless of socio economic background or geography.
UBC are our main clinical partner in the “RAB/UBC International Certificate of Radiology Fundamentals” we are designing, clinically supported by Radiopaedia.
We have produced a video indicating UBC's invaluable contribution, we encourage you to take the time to watch.
University of British Columbia Dept of Radiology and Radiology Across Borders: A Synergistic Win-Win.
Bruce B. Forster MSc MD FRCPC FCAR
Professor and Head,
Dept of Radiology
UBC Faculty of Medicine
About three years ago, UBC Faculty member Dr. Pete Tonseth and I began productive conversations with RAB. We had for quite some time been interested in global education and support in the Pacific Rim, and Pete had done some discovery visits which were interesting, but not an ideal match for our Dept’s goals and objectives. From the outset, Suresh de Silva and supporting faculty/staff impressed us greatly with their knowledge of the region, the medical and imaging needs, RAB’s outstanding organisational infrastructure, and their first class communication plan. Pete and I subsequently participated in site visits to Vietnam and Cambodia respectively, and these sealed the deal! There is always some risk to international travel, however again the outstanding organisation and friendly knowledgeable colleagues made the difference. Oh, and enjoying local beers with the team didn’t hurt either!
We hope to continue such visits as the pandemic resolves, but in the meantime, are very excited to contribute to the International Diploma Program. This developing relationship with RAB helps our Dept in Faculty Development, enables a better understanding of educational needs and delivery options in our shared geographic region, and strengthens morale as teams work together. We hope RAB enjoys similar benefit, and look forward to a long and fruitful association.
We would also like to thank our major partners Siemens Healthineers, I- MED Radiology Network and the Australasian Sonographers Association as well as our project sponsor Integral Diagnostics for supporting this work.
Check out our latest blog & read how two medical students in Canada are helping our team in Australia develop a Certificate of Radiology Fundamentals to help with educating doctors in developing nations.
This valuable resource will soon be available via our website providing free, regularly updated and reviewed imaging guidelines, assessed by multidisciplinary teams and feature many different layers of information and teaching points to suit your imaging needs.
Developed in Western Australia, Diagnostic Imaging Pathways is an online suite of evidence and consensus-based imaging guidelines and educational tools to optimize appropriate choices of diagnostic imaging in a wide variety of clinical scenarios and was created for referrers to DI, imaging technologists, radiologists and medical students.
“Diagnostic Imaging Pathways are delighted to be partnering with Radiology Across Borders. We believe our imaging guidelines and education tools should be available to all and are excited about the possibility of all nations, developing and developed benefiting from our resources.”
Film Bank Quiz
If you haven’t checked out the latest Film Bank Quiz, now is a good time to take the quick quiz which gives you ½ CPD point on completion starting from the September quiz.
“This 76-year-old man presents with chronic pain and swelling in the fingers, reduced range of movement and an ache at the base of the thumb for investigation.”
If you don’t know where a cancer is, you can’t treat it. Radiology helps save lives by detecting cancer and other illnesses early.
We believe that if you have the ability to save a life, you have the responsibility to do so.
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