It was an honor to be selected for the ASNR Outreach Professorship to Ghana for 2018. I have just returned from my week-long visit to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Dr. Yaw Mensah and his residents were kind and gracious hosts throughout my experience. It was an immensely rewarding experience to visit their country, their practice, and to be a part of their training program during my short time in Ghana.
Ghana is a country undergoing rapid transformation, with a total population of 27 million, 57% of which are under 25 years of age. The radiology training program at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital is similarly young and vibrant, as it inducted it first class of residents in 2001. Under the tireless leadership of Dr. Mensah, the radiology department provides imaging services to approximately 2000 tertiary patients with a single MRI and a single CT scanner. The residents also perform a large number of ultrasounds as well and review radiographs as requested by referring physicians.
During my visit the MRI and CT machines were under repair, which yielded ample time for didactic lectures and case reviews. A typical day would start with a didactic lecture at 7:30 am, followed by alternating case conferences and didactic sessions until 1pm. We focused on a different region of the head and neck each day (Paranasal Sinuses, Neck, Temporal Bone, Orbit, and Cranial Nerves) and even added some sessions on CT protocol design, acute stroke imaging, and imaging guided biopsies in the head and neck. These sessions were well attended by radiology residents and faculty, private practice radiologists, and visiting faculty from other departments. The residents were smart, curious, attentive, and were a delight to work with throughout the week.
During the visit we also discussed Dr. Mensah’s vision for his department. He is working to gain additional resources in imaging equipment to reduce the impact of equipment downtime. Additionally, he has been working to increase the subspecialization of his faculty, which he expects will be a boon to his department and to the profession of Radiology in Ghana.
My hosts were immensely helpful throughout the experience. They took me on several tours of Accra, including the Independence Arch, the James Town Lighthouse, the University of Ghana, and the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. Afternoon lunch was a delicious Ghanaian specialty, helpfully selected by the residents. Friday is traditional dress day throughout Ghana, and the department presented me with a beautiful shirt so that I could also partake in this tradition.
I want to thank the ASNR International Outreach Committee and Dr. Osborne for creating this opportunity. This was an immensely enjoyable and gratifying experience, and I believe that this collaboration will continue to advance neuroradiology for many years to come.
University of Wisconsin Department of Radiology