Report of Outreach Professor Carlos R Martinez MD FACR (2016)
What a wonderful opportunity! I recently returned from Southeast Asia after spending two weeks in Myanmar as an ASNR Outreach Professor. Myanmar is a fascinating and beautiful country of nearly 60 million people. Recent approximation to the outside world has brought much-needed economic growth and expansion of medical services. There are approximately 350 radiologists in the country but only a handful with subspecialty training. The number of general radiology trainees has recently increased to 120. I taught attending radiologists and residents at Yangon University Hospital, a 2,000 bed public teaching hospital, by far the largest and most important training hospital in the country. The radiology department is equipped with 3 multichannel CT scanners and 2 modern 1.5Tesla MR scanners in addition to an older low-field open scanner. It is staffed by 25 attending radiologists, one of whom is a fellowship-trained neuroradiologist. The 3 year residency program was recently expanded to 50 trainees
Most of my teaching time was devoted to didactic lectures and case presentations in addition to review of interesting cases brought in by the attendees from various hospitals. I taught a group of approximately 45 radiologists both morning and afternoon. During the lunch break I typically joined a group of radiologists at the hospital for a sampling of delicious Myanmar cuisine brought from their own homes.
I covered many topics in adult neuroradiology including Brain, Spine and ENT. I also lectured on MR Safety, Errors in Diagnostic Radiology, and Radiology Resident Education in the US. Most of the attendees came from various hospitals in Yangon, though a few came from Mandalay, the second largest city, and Naypyitaw, the capital. The audience was most eager, attentive, and curious. There was no need of translation of my presentations as most medical textbooks are in English and the language barrier was minimal.
My hosts, led by Professor Lyn Tun Tun, President of the Myanmar Radiological Society, were most gracious with my wife and myself. In addition to our superb accommodations, they helped us organize outstanding weekend trips to Bagan and Inle Lake, they took us to many interesting sites in and around Yangon, and invited us for dinner several times.
In brief, it was a very well-organized, extremely interesting, and highly rewarding experience. I am very grateful to the ASNR for the opportunity to serve as an Outreach Professor and to help our colleagues in Myanmar. It was a truly wonderful trip!