Warning! OUTDATED BROWSER DETECTED!   Please update your browser immediately for a better experience on this website. Learn More
  • RSNA’s International Visiting Professors Program Evolves Over Three Decades

    RSNA has been sending teams of two-three radiologists to teach and inspire radiologists in developing countries across the globe since 1987. Read about the impact and evolution of the RSNA International Visiting Professors program. By Paul LaTour

    May 1, 2017

    The IVP team donned traditional garb during their 2016 trip to Mongolia: Left to right: Musturay Karçaaltincaba, MD, RSNA past-president Theresa C. McLoud, MD, and Carlos Torres, MD.
    IVP 2009
    During the 2009 RSNA IVP trip to Beijing, China, Professor Raquel Del Carpio-O’Donovan (center) discussed a case with residents.
    The 2007 IVP trip to Uganda with team members Sharlene A. Teefey, MD, and Brian F. Mullan, MD.
    During their 2016 IVP trip to Ghana, Dorothy I. Bulas, MD, and Anne C. Roberts, MD, (bottom row, center [l-r]) gave presentations and taught intensive seminars to radiology residents (above), and attended conferences and meetings.

    Anne C. Roberts, MD, admits that she is hooked on the RSNA International Visiting Professors (IVP) program, having traveled to three countries to date: Nigeria in 2008, Nepal in 2012 and Ghana in 2016.

    “The program is a great way to experience how medicine is practiced somewhere else in the world,” said Dr. Roberts, chief of vascular and interventional radiology and professor of clinical radiology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. “Once you are there and are talking to the students and teaching them, it’s an addictive sort of experience. And you’re learning things for yourself as well.”

    Dr. Roberts is not the only radiologist who has made more than one trip on an RSNA IVP team since the Society sent the first visiting professor, Edmund A. Franken, Jr., MD, to Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi for six weeks in 1987. It is through the hard work of such dedicated volunteers that the IVP program has continued to flourish over the last three decades.

    RSNA established the IVP program in 1986 with financial support from Agfa Healthcare and Fujifilm Medical Systems as a way to promote international education in radiology. Originally, the program offered one professor the opportunity to visit a single radiology teaching institution in a developing country for up to three months. But finding radiologists who were able to take leave for that length of time became more difficult as the program developed

    In 1999, RSNA revised the IVP program by expanding its scope and scaling the trips back to 10-14 days. Teams of two or three visiting professors now visit radiology teaching institutions and often lecture at radiology society meetings in developing or newly developed countries.

    Beginning this month in Indonesia, the IVP program is sending teams to six nations in 2017, the most trips in a single year since 2002. Visiting professors will also travel to Mexico, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Latvia and Peru. Indonesia is the 45th host nation to participate in the program.

    Host Nations Receive Training

    In addition to education, the IVP visits often produce an array of tangential benefits for the host nations and societies.

    One example is Dr. Roberts’ recent trip to Ghana where she lectured at the Ghana Association of Radiologists (GAR) annual meeting. According to GAR President Edmund Brakohiapa, MD, the country had only one subspecialist and 40 general diagnostic radiologists prior to the IVP visit.

    As a result of the IVP team visit, Dr. Brakohiapa said at least two GAR members will be traveling to Europe and Canada for subspecialty training.

    “I believe the IVP training has helped stimulate the desire of our members for subspecialty training,” said Dr. Brakohiapa, a lecturer in the Department of Radiology at the University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry in Accra. “The depth of knowledge from such fellowship training was apparent in the quality of teaching given by the visiting professors.”

    A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

    As it turns out, radiologists in host nations are not the only ones who learn during IVP trips. Before Theresa C. McLoud, MD, left for the IVP trip to Mongolia in 2016, she said she needed a lot of information herself.

    “I’m a traveler, but Mongolia was a major unknown. There were so many points of interest — the people, the terrain, the history and, of course, how radiology is practiced,” said Dr. McLoud, who served as RSNA president in 2008.

    This thirst for knowledge played a major role in Dr. McLoud’s initial involvement with the IVP program. She also traveled to Argentina in 2009.

    An educator at heart, Dr. McLoud, vice chair of education in the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), said a primary goal while serving as RSNA president was to focus on international relations and education and RSNA’s role in in teaching across the globe. When her term on the RSNA Board of Directors ended, the IVP program allowed her to continue to take an active role in international education.

    Dr. McLoud said it is rewarding to see the opportunities RSNA IVP teams can create for radiologists in host nations.

    For example, the IVP team that traveled to the Philippines in 2016 had a considerable impact on the country’s radiologists, said Stephanie Jennifer H. Pe, MD, a former member of the Philippine College of Radiology Board of Directors, who helped organize the IVP trip.

    “The local radiologists were very much inspired by the direct interaction with the visiting professors, who unselfishly shared and exchanged their expert knowledge and wisdom,” said Dr. Pe. “We hope the professors also took home with them some nice memories that would reaffirm and encourage their continued efforts in advancing the field of radiology,”

    And when the IVP team visited Mongolia, they met radiologist Undrakh Erdenebold, MD, MSc, head of the radiology department at Intermed Hospital, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, who subsequently applied and secured a two-year-long neuroradiology fellowship at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, with neuroradiologist Carlos Torres, MD, FRCPC. When Dr. Erdenebold returns to Mongolia, he will be able to share the knowledge he gained during his training with the current and future generations of radiologists in his country. Dr. McLoud said that would not have happened if not for the connections created through the IVP trip.

    “It is the philosophy of ‘teach the teachers’ and then they’ll teach the others,” Dr. McLoud said.

    2017 RSNA IVP Trips

    The RSNA International Visiting Professors (IVP) program for 2017 kicks off with a first-time visit to Indonesia this month. Indonesia is the 45th nation visited by the IVP program since its inception in 1987.

    This year’s host nations also include Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Sri Lanka. The six nations are the most visited in one year by the IVP program since 2002.

    The Malaysian trip is jointly organized by RSNA and the Asian Oceanian Society of Radiology (AOSR), marking the first such collaboration in the IVP program’s history.

    Indonesia, May 1-10
    Perhimpunan Dokter Spesialis Radiologi Indonesia (PDSRI) / Indonesian Society of Radiology
    Maheen Rajput, MD, U.S.
    Robert M. Steiner, MD, U.S.
    Athanasios D. Gouliamos, MD, Greece

    Mexico, July 31-Aug. 11
    Mexican Federation of Radiology and Imaging (FMRI)
    H. Carisa Le-Petross, MD, U.S.
    Frederico F. Souza, MD, U.S.

    Sri Lanka, Aug. 22-Sept. 3
    Sri Lanka College of Radiologists
    Andrea S. Doria, MD, Canada
    Jeffrey C. Weinreb, MD, U.S.

    Malaysia, Sept. 27-Oct. 10
    College of Radiology Academy of Medicine in Malaysia
    Donna G. Blankenbaker, MD, U.S.
    (RSNA Sponsored Speaker)
    Sudhakar N. Pipavath, MD, U.S.
    (RSNA Sponsored Speaker)
    Sang Il Choi, MD PhD, Korea
    (AOSR Sponsored Speaker)
    C. C. Tchoyoson Lim, MMed, Singapore
    (AOSR Sponsored Speaker)

    Latvia, Sept. 28-Oct. 8
    Latvian Radiology Society
    Erik K. Paulson, MD, U.S.
    Uei Pua, MBBS, Singapore
    Giulia A. Zamboni, MD, Italy

    Peru, November (TBD)
    Peruvian Society of Radiology
    James J. Abrahams, MD, U.S.

    For more information on the RSNA IVP program, go to RSNA.org/IVP.