Wednesday 22 September 2021
One on One with Dr Chien Ho
Report by: Deb Carmody
What motivated you to be involved in RAB?
Radiology is certainly a rewarding career, giving us the opportunity to help improve the health of patients we interact with in the clinical setting. When I reflected on our sense of place and our obligations to the greater community, I considered how one might effect broader positive change. Education has in a very direct sense, provided a pathway to a better life and and is an important tool which could help those in developing nations improve health and living standards.
A significant proportion of the radiology workforce works wholly or partly in the private sector. I think there is sometimes a perception that education and teaching is perhaps best left to those working in tertiary institutions, those who hold an academic appointment or those who have published extensively. Whilst contributions from ‘leaders in the field’ are invaluable, there are many other opportunities to provide meaningful input. Sometimes there is value in approaching subject matter from a broader and practical perspective. RAB is an ‘agnostic’, neutral organisation that permits individuals to step outside the perceived constraints of their workplace or institution. As such, RAB is an ideal enabler, providing many opportunities and avenues for individuals to contribute.
In 2018, I made contact with RAB and later that year, I visited Vietnam as part of the Abdominal Radiology Programme. It was on this trip, whilst squeezed into the back of a Hanoi taxi with Suresh de Silva and Professor Pete Tonseth (from the University of British Columbia), the concept of the Film Bank Quiz first took shape. In 2020, together with Dr Katrina Mastrocostas, the Film Bank Quiz project took flight. As part of the Integral Diagnostics Board, a decision was made to support RAB through partnering in projects such as the International Certificate in Radiology Fundamentals (ICRF), Film Bank Quiz and RAB Technologists Education Series.
From the organisational perspective, there has been increasing focus in the last few years on the importance of an organisation’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) profile. They need to consider how they engage and serve both the local and global community and how to pursue meaningful ESG improvement in a way that increases the potential to outperform. I believe that for a health care company to satisfy its ESG commitments, is no longer sufficient just to rely on the fact that it operates in the health care space. Beyond the regulatory ESG requirements, there is a recognition that there is value creation for both staff as well as external stakeholders.
What impact does RAB have?
In my view, philanthropy is more than a unilateral act. I think there is an obligation to genuinely understand the needs of the community one is helping and by making the connections, there is a reciprocity on a human and a professional level. The primary and direct benefits of education lift the standards of health care and direct support of image interpretation (and which sometimes extends to clinical decision making) e.g. the TIDES project. Furthermore, through the connections that are made, there is a secondary benefit of encouraging and facilitating education initiatives by locals, to the locals. This was a by-product that I witnessed in my visit to Vietnam in 2019. Finally, on a personal level, there are tremendous opportunities to collaborate with peers and colleagues from around the country and around the world. In the time that I have been associated with RAB, I can see there is a genuine and deep commitment to help the recipients of the programmes and the communities in which they live and I have gained much in return.